Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

India Have The Quality to Excel

Fans in the Caribbean know a lot about Dravid, would have seen a bit of Sehwag and at least heard of Yuvraj's recent exploits. Add to those, the hard hitting Dhoni, Kaif, young guns Raina and Powar and you get the idea that the Windies bowling could


As the one-day international series against Zimbabwe drew to a close in the Caribbean this weekend, the West Indies team will be turning their attention to the upcoming five ODIs against their next opponents India.

This will be a completely different kettle of fish for the Windies. While Zimbabwe linger at the bottom of both Test and ODI rankings, India have been proving their worth in both forms of the game, and not just on home soil.

Sure, the Windies have dominated the present series but like this last game, at times Zimbabwe have not been outclassed to the degree you would have expected considering their problems with the availability of their best players for selection. And that is good reason for the Windies fans to be a bit skeptical about the upcoming contest.

India's batting lineup, even without the injured Sachin Tendulkar, is a formidable one.

Fans in the Caribbean know a lot about captain Rahul Dravid and would have seen a bit of Virender Sehwag and at least heard of the recent exploits of Yuvraj Singh but add to those, the hard hitting Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mohammed Kaif and the two young guns Suresh Raina and Ramesh Powar and you get the idea that the Windies bowling attack could be thoroughly tested this time around.

Yuvraj has developed tremendously over the last 12 months or so and is now the finished article and Raina and Powar look to be two young batsmen going places but Dhoni is a destroyer. He is a powerful man who could make these comparatively small West Indies cricket grounds look like indoor arenas and perhaps it would not be a bad idea if they were because if he is not dismissed cheaply, the West Indies Cricket Board could end up with an unusually high equipment bill for lost cricket balls.

It should not be all one-way street where powerful hitting is concerned though as captain Dravid has acknowledged that the West Indies batting lineup is not one to be sniffed at. "Any team that has players of the quality of Brian Charles Lara, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Chris Gayle and Shivnarain Chanderpaul, is going to be a serious batting lineup" is how he put it on his arrival with his team in Jamaica recently and that cannot be denied.

The Windies will have to be a lot more consistent with their performances though, it is great to have names on paper but it is the production that counts.

So, perhaps with such strong batting lineups in both teams, it will be the team that bowls and fields better that will end up in front after the five games. The Windies should just be ahead in the fielding stakes with quick sure handed players like Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Ronako Morton and even Chanderpaul from the older brigade in the outfield but the inexperienced bowlers will have their work cut out.

India's victories in more recent times have come mostly from chasing targets and one could say that is also going to be the best chance of victory for the West Indies as well. So you could possibly see the toss in each match attracting more attention and playing a greater significance than usual.

As for the Test series, different disciplines and possibly different personnel will be involved to a degree for both teams. India have not won a Test series in the Caribbean since 1971 and have only won three of the 38 they have contested with 19 drawn, which means they have lost 16.

And while the West Indies will be drawing on past experiences and history to prepare mentally for battle, India will be trying to put those statistics behind them and concentrate on the present. They certainly have the quality and better recent form to get the job done.



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