Wounded India not short on motivation

Dhonis men have plenty to prove in todays first game against West Indies

 A tired Indian team, who suffered a seven-wicket drubbing at the hands of Christ Gayle’s men in at the World T20, has now regrouped for the 50-over format after a nine-day break from competitive cricket.

The squad is sans big-wigs like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, who are nursing various injuries, but promises to put up a good show against the hosts with the return of pacer Ashish Nehra and some new talent.

The Indian team is packed with all-rounders in Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja, besides the likes of star batsmen Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma.
The bowling department, especially the spinners,.will be the main concern for the home side, as admitted by West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has vowed to bring cheer back to the Indian fans, has already made it clear to the opposition that his team was not short on confidence and had the wherewithal to challenge the West Indies.

“When it comes to playing for your country, you don’t really need motivation to go out and perform,” Dhoni had said on arrival in the Caribbean.

He also warned the hosts against relying on the Twenty20 form, saying the 50-over format was altogether a different ball game. “The West Indies is playing good cricket at the moment. They had a very good T20 tournament, but in the 50-over game, you have time to settle down,” he said.

Dhoni believes consistency would be the key to success in the series, which begins at the slow Sabina Park track.

“The team that plays consistent cricket over the series will come out winners. We have to play consistent cricket, that will be the key for us,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni’s men, ranked third in the ICC one-day rankings, will also try to take the opportunity to climb up the ladder ahead of Australia and inch closer to table toppers South Africa, especially against the backdrop of their successful last one-day series in New Zealand in March.

The West Indies, seemingly resurgent following their semifinal showing in the T20 World Cup, are not taking the Indians lightly. Gayle’s team had lost their last series in England.
“India are always a good one-day team and they will be looking to beat us based on their Twenty20 disappointment,” Gayle remarked.

“They still have quality players in Yuvraj, Harbhajan Singh, Dhoni, (Ishant) Sharma and a lot of guys to give us a lot of trouble,” he added.

Irrespective of their recent Super Eight match win over India in the Twenty20 World Cup in England, the West Indies apprehend that the Indians will be ‘a handful in the Caribbean’.

The hosts are also aware that they have to click as a unit despite all the experience and the talent in their armoury.

“We’ve got experience within experience and hopefully we’ll come together as a unit,” said senior batsman Sarwan, adding, “The key when we play India is to try and work the ball as much as we can.”

Teams (from):
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Yusuf Pathan, Murali Vijay, S Badrinath, Rudra Pratap Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Abhishek Nayar, Ashish Nehra, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Kaarthick.
West Indies: Chris Gayle (capt), Denesh Ramdin, Lionel Baker, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Sulieman Benn, David Bernard, Shivnarine Chanderp-aul, N Deonarine, R Morton, R Rampa-ul, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor.

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