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India look for fifth series win on the trot

It may have been a dismal World Twenty20 for India, but when it comes to one-dayers they have been unstoppable over the past year

Match facts

Sunday, July 5, 2009
Start time 09.30 (13.30 GMT)

The Big Picture

It may have been a dismal World Twenty20 for India, but when it comes to one-dayers they have been unstoppable over the past year. MS Dhoni's boys have strung together four comfortable series victories since the defeat in the Asia Cup final, and with plenty of ODIs coming up India will want to extend that winning sequence with a success on Sunday.
On the other hand, West Indies haven't won a series against serious opposition in more than a year. To salvage this one, they need their pace spearhead Jerome Taylor to fire; in the absence of Fidel Edwards there's more responsibility on Taylor, whose performances have mirrored West Indies' fortunes in this series. Unless he and his pace-bowling colleagues provide the early breakthroughs, West Indies will have a tough time against the savage hitters in the Indian middle order.
Friday's game at the Beausejour Stadium was shortened to a 22-over affair due to rain, and showers are forecast for Sunday morning as well, raising the possibility of another curtailed game.

ODI form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
India - WLWLW
West Indies - LWLLL

Watch out for ...

The absence of several big names opened up the opportunity for Dinesh Karthik to get an extended run in the side. With Dhoni firmly ensconced in the keeper's spot, it was as a specialist batsman that Karthik had to make an impression, and he's delivered. His 67 in the first game helped re-build the innings after two early wickets, and a 47 on Friday gave India the perfect launchpad.
Runako Morton has been providing the solidity at the top of the order to complement Chris Gayle's flamboyance. The pair have provided decent starts in each of the games, reducing the pressure on the West Indies middle order. Morton is also the home side's leading run-getter this series, with 149 runs.

Team news

It will be hard to drop allrounder Abhishek Nayar, who didn't get to bat or bowl on his debut on Friday, without giving him a chance to prove his credentials, meaning Ravindra Jadeja could remain on the sidelines. Fast bowler RP Singh has been ineffective in the series so far, which might lead to Praveen Kumar returning. With part-timers Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, and Yusuf Pathan complementing Harbhajan Singh in the spin department, Pragyan Ojha is likely to continue warming the bench.
India (probable) 1 Dinesh Karthik, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Abhishek Nayar, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Ashish Nehra, 11 Ishant Sharma
With West Indies naming only a 13-man squad, there isn't too much room for them to tinker. Narsingh Deonarine and Lionel Baker are the two players who sat out on Friday, and it's unlikely they will get to play on Sunday either.
West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Runako Morton, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Darren Bravo, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Jerome Taylor, 9 David Bernard, 10 Suleiman Benn, 11 Ravi Rampaul.

Stats and trivia

  • India have won only one one-day series in the Caribbean so far, a rain-affected contest in 2002
  • Dhoni's unbeaten 46 on Friday pushed his one-day average above 50. Only Michael Bevan and Michael Hussey (min 25 innings) have a higher average than him. Dhoni has scored 632 runs at 90.28 this year.
  • If more proof was needed of Chris Gayle's hitting ability, take a look at the number of sixes he has hit this year - 27, which is ten more than the next highest.
  • Quotes

    "He's had a magnificent series and he's played some really good one-day cricket for us."
    Gary Kirsten is full of praise for Dhoni's batting this series

    Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo