Monday, November 28, 2011

Young India still favorites against West Indies

India, the world champions, enter the one-day series against West Indies as firm favorites and one should expect little surprises, if any, in terms of results. West Indies have only upward to look to as their form in the 50-over format of the game has not been any impressive either.

India will be led by the explosive Virender Sehwag, with the selectors deciding to rest regular skipper MS Dhoni ahead of the tough Australian tour. For them it is a matter of continuing their winning run as well as testing their bench strength. Sachin Tendulkar has also been rested while Yuvraj Singh is unavailable as he battles lung tumor.

India have fared reasonably well off late, clean-sweeping England at home to add to the World Cup glory earlier in the year. In addition, they beat West Indies in West Indies as well, winning the first three ODIs before falling away in the last two inconsequential matches. The only glitch in an otherwise perfect year has come in the form of the abysmal tour to England where they lost 3-0.

West Indies will yet again be looking for answers to their miseries that surround them. Since crashing out in the quarter-final at the World Cup, the team has lost home series against Pakistan and India. While they won the ODI series in Bangladesh, the victory came through the tough route having lost the first match before bouncing back in the following two matches.

The absence of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo has proven costly in recent times, and the young side will be looking to silence the critics with impressive performances. Darren Bravo has been a revelation on the tour and his teammates will look to draw inspiration from him.

Barabati Stadium in Cuttack hosts the day/night encounter. India have lost only two ODIs in two decades at this ground. With the match being played late in November, dew factor could be important and may affect the captain’s decision after winning the toss.

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