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The Preview by Sidharth Monga
March 22, 2014
Cullinan: Not convinced India can do it twice in a row
Match factsMarch 23, 2014
Big pictureIf you put the names of players from both these squads in a hat, pulled them out into four random teams, added a few Indian domestic players, placed a few Bollywood stars and many hangers-on on the sidelines, and changed rules on the fly, you would have yourself an IPL. India and West Indies have played each other only thrice in international Twenty20s, but the players of these two teams are more familiar with each other's Twenty20 skills than any other set of two teams.
West Indies cricketers are the life of the IPL. Nine of their first XI play in the tournament, and this is a side missing Kieron Pollard. All of the Indians do too. They either net with each other or play against each other day in and day out for two months every year. If Virat kohli can share Chris Gayle's weaknesses with the India team, Dwayne Bravo will surely know how to bowl to MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. Indian batsmen are the most exposed to Sunil Narine, West Indies know Amit Mishra better than any other batsmen in the world.
Conditions, too, suit both these teams. The spinners love the slowness, the batsmen the short boundaries. Some of the familiarity has flown in how Suresh Raina thinks West Indies batsmen struggle to rotate the strike against spin. West Indies might have a thing or two to say about Raina's general ordinary average against West Indies. What you can't argue about is the fact that this is a match between the ODI champions and the T20I champions with huge implications, which you expect of every league match when two out of five progress. The teams will have to keep an eye towards the skies though; it rained in Dhaka on Saturday and more wet spells are forecast for Sunday afternoon.
Form guide(most recent first) India WWWLL
Watch out forSince he scored 75 in the semi-final of the last World T20, Chris Gayle has had a bit of a lean patch, which features five single-digit scores in eight matches, and no fifty. He began warming up against England, though, scoring 43 and 36. If he carries on for longer, there might not be many singles required against spinners.
Yuvraj Singh has been India's most influential Twenty20 international since the last World T20. No Indian has scored more runs, nor has an Indian taken more wickets. He will not be pleased with his work against Pakistan: a dropped catch, a 13-run over, a poor shot to get out for 1. Write him off at your own peril, though.
Team newsIndia have said that three spinners hasn't yet become the winning combination that shouldn't be tinkered with, but Amit Mishra is a good bet to play.
India: (possible) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Mohammed Shami
Andre Russell should take Pollard's place in the XI as he did in the T20s against England unless West Indies want another specialist pace bowler in Krishmar Santokie.
West Indies: (possible) 1 Dwayne Smith, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Lendl Simmons, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Darren Sammy (capt.), 8 Andre Russell/ Krishmar Santokie, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Samuel Badree
Stats and trivia
Quotes"West Indies will be a totally different team as they have a lot of players who can hit sixes but they don't have an idea about how to rotate the strike against spinners by taking singles and twos. Therefore, the more pressure we put on the bigger players, the better it will be for us."
"The good thing in our team is that we don't have to rely on any one person. We have at least five or six potential match-winners."
Darren Sammy knows he has a strong team
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Sidharth Monga
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