West Indies v India: 1st ODI, Sabina Park, Jamiaca

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Aug 28, 2005
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West Indies v India, 1st ODI, Jamaica

Lara remains the talisman

The Preview by Siddhartha Vaidyanathan in Kingston

May 17, 2006

It's quite intriguing that despite having played 15 one-dayers in the West Indies, India are yet to play a game at Sabina Park. The two games that were scheduled on their previous tour, in 2002, were both washed out and a spate of showers on match eve, and forecast for thunder showers, threatened to ruin a much-anticipated clash. The locals, though, were confident that the match would carry on uninterrupted and spells of bright sunshine added weight to the same.

Now to the 22 yards that usually receives most of the attention. Charlie, the groundsman who's been around since 1959, delivers an obituary on the bounce at Sabina Park. "It's the clay you know, they change it sometime in the early '90s. Then they relaid it and it lost its main quality. Now it's slowly coming back. The pitch for the one-day games will have decent bounce, but the ball comes on to the bat. The Test match pitch will be different. More bounce, more pace."

Jeffrey Dujon, the legendary wicketkeeper who grew up playing on this ground, thought similarly. "This pitch will be different compared to what the Indians encounter at the other venues," he told Cricinfo. "It can get a bit lively out here and bowlers will definitely have a say." Would he pick a favourite? "For the sake of the series, I'd like to see it 1-1 after two games."

For that to materialise, Brian Lara's boys may need to pull out a special performance. "One must remember," Dujon points out, "and that's the bottom line - it's going to be No.3 against No.8. West Indies' might have comprehensively beaten Zimbabwe but they weren't up to the mark in all departments." India, on the other hand, were coming off a sizzling run. In case he's a numbers man, and is aware of India's recent chasing record, Lara wouldn't like to be fielding second. Dravid might not mind it either way and the game at Montego Bay would have given them a good workout while batting first.

In all probability, this series might turn into a battle of flexibility with Dwayne Bravo, Dwyane Smith, Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle on one side pitted against Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh on the other. Barring a minor miracle, Ramesh Powar will not play and Dravid hinted that Sreesanth would be allowed time to recuperate as well.

Yet, none of these players' performance may matter if one man decides to take matters into his own magical hands. Lara remains the talisman and has often made a mockery of plans and strategies. He's back as captain and this series provides him a chance to assert himself and to inspire through personal performance.

Kingston is abuzz. Most haven't seen too many players in this side and there's an anticipation to watch Irfan Pathan bowl, to watch Yuvraj Singh blast. But the real excitement surrounds Dhoni, especially because of his instinct to dominate, his audacity to invent new strokes, and his attacking methods even when under pressure. "This boy born in the West Indies maan," said one spectator when Dhoni spanked a six outside Jarrett Park in Montego Bay. "You stole him away from us." It's that kind of endearment.

There's a small matter of the Indian coach as well. Greg Chappell, Dujon felt, wouldn't have forgotten the hammering that Australia took against the mighty West Indian side of the '80s. "He had a terrible time against us in the only series I played against him. He could not score a run and people keep such things in mind. He would surely try to get back at us."

India (probable)
1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Rahul Dravid (capt), 3 Yuvraj Singh, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Mohammad Kaif, 6 Venugopal Rao, 7 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Ajit Agarkar, 10 Rudra Pratap Singh, 11 Munaf Patel

West Indies (probable)
1 Chris Gayle, 2 Runako Morton, 3 Brian Lara (capt), 4 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 5 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Dwayne Smith, 8 Carlton Baugh (wk), 9 Jerome Taylor, 10 Fidel Edwards, 11 Corey Collymore.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is staff writer of Cricinfo

© Cricinfo


Post all comments and match updates below. :D
WI have no chance against Indian ODI team - Test matches are a different story
MenInGreen said:
WI have no chance against Indian ODI team - Test matches are a different story

I have a feeling Windies will suprise us all, today.
Is the WI keeper Rhamdin injured?

Seemed like a talented youngster when I first saw him play not too long ago
I hoping for a Lara magic too, but still I want India to win, but a close fought contest.
Match will be rained off. Even the 2nd ODI is doubtful. Perhaps the series will finish 0-0?
To be honest, if India are chasing in most of the games they should win comfortably. The Windies bowling attack right now is honestly too poor to defend 90% of totals against a quality batting lineup.

If India bat first in a lot of the games though, we could see some surprise results. Even in this rich vein of form, when they have batted first they have usually not been that great.
West Indies team:
CH Gayle, RS Morton, *BC Lara, RR Sarwan, S Chanderpaul,
MN Samuels, +CS Baugh, DJ Bravo, IDR Bradshaw, JE Taylor,
FH Edwards.

India team:
V Sehwag, *R Dravid, SK Raina, Yuvraj Singh, M Kaif, +MS Dhoni,
IK Pathan, AB Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, RP Singh, MM Patel.
14-0 (1)

Awful over first up, bacha Pathan giving away two boundaries, and plenty of wides and noballs.
.2 Pathan to Gayle, FOUR, off the mark with a bang! typical Gayle style! short and wide outside the off stump, Gayle leans back and cuts it away through point, powerful blow

0.6 Pathan to Morton, (no ball) FOUR
Pathan is having is one of the best start ever. 14 runs in one over. (is he not batting ???) I guess not.
Isnt this the point in the innings (new ball in damp morning conditions) when Pathan's bowling is actually supposed to be GOOD?
16/0 (2 overs)

Good over from Munaf, but where's Sreesanth? :( I like the little guy.
Morton slowing things down,
7.1 Patel to Gayle, FOUR!!, good length delivery on the off, Gayle blasts it straight down the ground, what a blow
Patel to Morton, no run, short of length delivery just outside off, held its line, beats the edge, a rare good delivery - :)) :)) :))
51-0 (8)

Cracking start by the Windies, lets hope they keep it up,
Cracking cut shot by Gayle, brilliant shot. Great to hear Bish though.
Excellent start by WI .. it's gonna be an exciting match.
ist goin to be 4-1 anyways...am only curious to know which game india will loose!
inzamam_1 said:
the great agarkar gets Morton
yeah and he is supposed to be a beast too according to many definitions floating around here. ;-)
Gayle is still around ... WI in gr8 position.
Lara is in .. I am looking forward to see his batting today.
if anyone saw the last boundary off Agarkar's over by Lara then that's the way to play the pull shot in front of square. What a shot it was.
Rob H said:
if anyone saw the last boundary off Agarkar's over by Lara then that's the way to play the pull shot in front of square. What a shot it was.
that was sheer class. excellent shot.
chris gayle cowlashes a gentle floater from sehwag out of the ground.

137/2 (24.3)
Who is commenting on cricinfo. There is no detail just runs off the ball. Very frustrating. No description of 6 or 4 what so ever!
w.i 156/2 (27.2)

pathan bowling all over the place! seems rattled.
blistering cut shot for 4 by lara.

pathan been toyed with here..
Performing for his home town here Gayle. On fire. Taking Pathan to the cleaners.
RP singh on a gentle floater and its smashed for 4 by lara!
Lara gone to munaf patel!

drives in air and is caught by kaif.

lara gone for 35.
Was a risky shot from Lara and he picked out the best Indian fielder.
Munaf only bowler causing problems here.. rest of attack has been poor and pedestrian.
W.I 187/3 (35)

last 10 overs now as this is 45 overs per side.
munaf bowling well, eh.

i think this guy's going to be a star. pathan, rp singh, sreesanth are all garbage to be honest.
single and 100 for gayle.

his 12 for W.I and 4th v india.

well played.
lovely slash from chanderpaul past the static indian keeper.
Gayle goes to agarkar.

W.I 222/4 (40)

5 overs left...
just 9 runs from last 2 overs.

w.i 231/4 (42)

3 overs left...
chanderpaul dances down wicket and slaps ball down ground and is brilliantly caught by sehwag.

W.I 233/5 (42.3)
WI did not score fast enuf in last few overs.
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