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Rediff.com  » Cricket » It's do or die for India against West Indies

It's do or die for India against West Indies

May 08, 2010 16:39 IST

Handed a sound thrashing by Australia in their opening Super Eight match, India will have to quickly sort out their batting woes as they take on the West Indies in a do-or-die contest in the ICC World Twenty20 at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Sunday.

Like the Indians, West Indies are also faced with a must-win situation, as another defeat would virtually put them out of contention for a place in the semi-finals.

Fortunately for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men, the islanders do not have a lethal pace battery like the Australians. Kemar Roach may have troubled Ricky Ponting on bone-hard wicket Down Under, but he is not accurate like Dirk Nannes or Shaun Tait.

So the element of pace and bounce may not impact the Indian batsmen who had surrendered meekly to the Aussies' pace quartet.

There is expected to be some bounce on the lively pitch in Barbados, but if the West Indian quicks -- Roach and Jerome Taylor -- don't execute their skills, it will not frazzle the Indian top order.

India would have certainly learnt a lesson or two from their embarrassing 49-run drubbing on Friday.

Dhoni conceded that India had sought to fight fire with fire and had consequently paid for the imprudence.

The urge to play the pull shot, without getting inside the line of the ball, must have probably been flushed out of their psyche when they take the field.

Also, they would have worked on their bowling inadequacies, which was ruthlessly exposed by Shane Watson and David Warner during their hurricane 106-run partnership.

Their strategy of playing an extra batsman and filling their side with part-time bowlers back fired against the Aussies.

This is one aspect that the Indian team management, which is sorely missing Virender Sehwag, would have taken into consideration before penning down the names for their match against the hosts.

Without another opener in the 15-man squad, India would be forced to play Murali Vijay, who has struggled against the rising ball, bowled in the corridor of uncertainty.

No doubt he is technically sound, but in his aspiration to play shots on the up, he has failed miserably.

On the other hand, Chris Gayle's boys would be determined to do well in front of their home crowd, especially after being mauled by 57 runs by Sri Lanka in their Super Eights encounter.

"We will definitely have a discussion about our performance and go back to the drawing board to get ourselves sorted out. As it is a must win game for both the sides, it will be a good battle at the square," said Gayle.

Having watched the Indians made a hash of their chase against a hostile attack, West Indies could pepper their sub-continental rivals with short-pitched bowling, revealed Gayle.

"We watched the India-Australia game. We will look at that option. At the same time you have bowl according to plan to achieve the desired results. I think India have quality batsmen who can make adjustments, according to the situation," said Gayle.

Considering that Kieron Pollard batted low down the order and could not get going against the Sri Lankan bowlers, West Indies have an option of sending their most devastating batsman up the order.

"He is the kind of guy you can go in and start hitting the ball straightaway. So we are holding him aback a bit. But if needed, we can send him in early," said Gayle.

With Australia and Sri Lanka sitting pretty with two points under their belt, India need to beat West Indies to stay alive in the tournament.

Teams:

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

West Indies: Chris Gayle (captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Wavell Hinds, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor, Ravi Rampaul, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Narsingh Deonarine, Denesh Ramdin, Kieron Pollard, Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach, Nikita Miller, Andre Fletcher.

 

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