Sunday, May 9, Bridgetown
Start time 0930 (1330 GMT)
The Big Picture
One of these teams brings most of the TV revenue. One of them is bringing in the crowds at the actual venues. Both of them got mauled in their first Super Eights match: India by 49 runs, only to be outdone by West Indies, who fell 57 runs short. One of them will be out by the time they are through with each other. Barring, of course, complex and improbable permutations, which are made more complex and improbable thanks to the huge margins of defeats and consequently poor net run-rates.
In terms of commercial value, India have won. The match begins at the unTwenty20 hour of 9.30am to cater to the huge TV audience in India instead of putting the host team in an afternoon match so that it is more convenient for the people to turn up at the Kensington Oval.
This will also be West Indies' first early-morning start in the tournament, and might take some adjusting. Their fast bowlers won't mind, though. Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor would have liked what they saw when Australia bounced India out. They will need all the help from their fielders, though, who were hopeless against Sri Lanka. Even on bouncy tracks, you don't give Indian batsmen too many chances. Suresh Raina, for example, showed how dangerous he could be when South Africa didn't quite finish him off after having him in all sorts of trouble in their first-round match.
With India's batting and West Indies' fielding getting all the flak, their other disciplines can't get away either. India bowled horribly against Australia, which originally set up the defeat. West Indies were lucky to win against England, and their other two full-innings scores have been 138. One of them against Ireland. There is a whole lot of improvement to be done for both the sides, there is one day to figure it out, and there will be only one live slot available after the match.
Form guide (most recent first)
India LWWWL West Indies LWWLL
Watch out for...
MS Dhoni doesn't make too many excuses. He knows he is leading a tired side, and he says so. He knows he is leading a side not equipped to attack short-pitched bowling on a quick track. There is not enough time in Twenty20s to wear an attack down by ducking and swaying, and pulling and hooking is not India's strongest suit. And Dhoni says so. He knows those facts can't be changed overnight, and that a way has to be found around them. And when an unconventional route has to be found, Dhoni usually leads the way.
While a plethora of chances was being missed against Sri Lanka, Dwayne Bravo ran from long-on to field a ball at midwicket, swooped on it in front of Wavell Hinds who had just refused to accept a sitter, and let the throw rip, keeping the batsmen down to one. His angry face then told a story. He would go on diving crazily, attempting impossible catches, and his effort was not going to be enough. Not when he hasn't been quite himself with both bat and ball. But that Bravo energy is exactly what West Indies need now, that desperation to want to do everything. Something to the order of what Bravo did in these two teams' previous meeting: four wickets and a flamboyant 36-ball 66 with the bat.
Rohit Sharma, with his lone hand of 79 against Australia, should have assured himself a place. Ravindra Jadeja, on the other hand, went for 38 runs in two overs, missed a catch, and ran himself out by running away from the stumps. Jadeja, when used in the middle overs, has been a valuable left-arm spinner for Dhoni, and it will be interesting to see what effect one horrible day has on his place. India, anyway, played one batsman too many against Australia, so either of the spinning "allrounders", Yusuf Pathan or Jadeja, could be left out to bring in a specialist bowler. The choice of that specialist bowler should be interesting too: by not picking him on a bouncy track, Dhoni has shown a bit of a lack of confidence in R Vinay Kumar, so Piyush Chawla could be in the fray too. Injured Praveen Kumar's replacement Umesh Yadav isn't likely to reach there in time for this game.
India (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 M Vijay, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 Yusuf Pathan/Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Piyush Chawla/R Vinay Kumar, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Ashish Nehra.
Even though Jerome Taylor went for 28 in three overs on his comeback, there is no way West Indies are going without two genuine quicks against India. Given Andre Fletcher's struggles behind the stumps, they could give the specialist keeper, Denesh Ramdin, a game. Wavell Hinds is wasted coming in at No. 8 anyway. And whether Fletcher the batsman is worth a place is open to debate.
West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Andre Fletcher/Wavell Hinds/Narsingh Deonarine, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sulieman Benn, 10 Jerome Taylor, 11 Kemar Roach.
Pitch and conditions
This is the final day of the Super Eight stage in Barbados before the tournament heads back to St Lucia. There has been good pace, true bounce, and not much sideways movement in the surface. In other words, it has been a pitch that not many will complain about. Another warm day is predicted.
Stats and trivia
Against Australia, when Harbhajan Singh became the second man in the Indian line-up to reach double figures, they escaped equalling the dubious record of 10 batsmen failing to reach a score of 10 in an innings. India hold the current record, jointly with Bermuda, West Indies and Ireland.
Yuvraj Singh jointly holds the record for most sixes in Twenty20 internationals, 38. Chris Gayle, at No. 5 on the list, has hit 27.
"If somebody bowls 150kph short stuff then you have to be really good at pulling which isn't our natural strength. Most players from India are very good at cutting the ball, but only a few are good pullers against the new ball." MS Dhoni, India's captain, is not hiding behind excuses
"It is must-win for both teams and it should be a good game. We are still confident we can win the two games and move onto the semi-final." Chris Gayle, West Indies' captain, has not lost hope