IN­DIA VS WEST INDIES : HEAD-TO-HEAD

Hav­ing al­ready lost the se­ries, de­fend­ing WT20 champs West Indies look to end dis­ap­point­ing In­dia tour on a high

Sunday Express - - SPORT - ASHOK VENU­GOPAL ashok.v@newin­di­an­ex­press.com

WITH the weather be­ing pleas­ant and the pitch promis­ing to be kind on bats­men, a run feast is on the cards in the third and fi­nal T20I be­tween In­dia and West Indies on Sun­day. It’s up to the vis­i­tors to make sure they are com­pet­i­tive so that the crowd gets to wit­ness some sort of a con­test. As the visit­ing skip­per Car­los Brath­waite said the other day, In­dia’s bat­ting ver­sus their bowl­ing is one part of it. Their bats­men also have to be up to the mark.

The Men in Blue ar­rived in batches and as­sem­bled in the city on Satur­day evening and did not have a prac­tice ses­sion. “The mood is up­beat in the camp. We will go all out for a win on Sun­day. There is no dead rub­ber syn­drome. After the Di­wali break all of us are fo­cussed and we should do well to­mor­row,’’ said a mem­ber of the In­dian team.

In Vi­rat Kohli’s ab­sence, Ro­hit Sharma has been lead­ing from the front. “Ro­hit is do­ing a bril­liant job as cap­tain. He is also bat­ting flu­ently and it’s a de­light to watch. We have good depth in our bat­ting and our bowl­ing too looks solid with va­ri­ety. I am sure we will win the fi­nal game,’’ opined for­mer In­dia cap­tain and chair­man of se­lec­tors K Srikkanth.

Keep­ing the sur­face in mind, the team that bowls well will have a bet­ter chance to press for a win. Brath­waite re­fused to re­veal the team com­po­si­tion, but look­ing at their bench strength, they do not have much choice. More or less the 11 who played in Luc­know will play again.

A mem­ber of the In­dian side made an in­ter­est­ing ob­ser­va­tion that their spin com­po­nent has been the dif­fer­ence be­tween the teams, not just in the T20s but on the en­tire tour.

De­nesh Ramdin, wick­et­keeper­bats­man of the West Indies team, agrees that spin is a prob­lem for his team. “We are dis­ap­pointed. We are T20 champs and when we played the first game, we were ex­pect­ing to do well. But we did not adapt as well as we should have. We didn’t get any part­ner­ships ei­ther. T20 banks on mo­men­tum and part­ner­ships and we couldn’t do that. Kuldeep (Ya­dav) played a ma­jor part in the Tests, ODIs and T20s. They haven’t been able to pick him. He did the trick in the mid­dle overs,’’ felt Ramdin.

Khary Peirre and Fabian Allen are the two spin­ners the West Indies will de­pend upon, but the duo are not in the same league as the In­di­ans. “There’s a sys­tem (to un­earth spin­ners) in place back home. The wick­ets in the West Indies are sim­i­lar to that of In­dia, slow and turn­ing. On this wicket, with the square bound­aries a bit big­ger, it’s im­por­tant our spin­ners bowl bet­ter,”said Ramdin.

In con­trast, In­dia have a prob­lem of plenty. They need to pick two from Yuzven­dra Cha­hal, Krunal Pandya, Wash­ing­ton Sun­dar and Shah­baz Nadeem. For­mer leg-spin­ner Naren­dra Hir­wani be­lieves young­sters should be given a chance. “All four are good spin­ners. We have seen Cha­hal, so I be­lieve young­sters should be given a chance keep­ing in mind the wicket and con­di­tions,’’ said the spin bowl­ing coach at Na­tional Cricket Acamdey. Se­nior BCCI scorer C Mad­husud­han from the TNCA is the Duck­worth-Lewis Sys­tem (DLS) man­ager for Sun­day’s T20. In the past scor­ers used to han­dle the task of do­ing DLS cal­cu­la­tions. But for a while now, the man in charge of DLS takes care only of DLS cal­cu­la­tions. “We have a soft­ware that has the for­mula for the DLS job. At every stop­page, a fresh set of cal­cu­la­tions has to be done quickly. The task be­comes dif­fi­cult when there are many in­ter­rup­tions,” said Mad­husud­han. Match 10 5 Won 4 Lost NR 1

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