Daijiworld Media Network
Trinidad, Jul 5: Hello and welcome for the 4th match of the tri-nation series. It is the hosts West Indies taking on India at Trinidad. Having lost both their games so far, India will have to win this encounter to stay alive in the tournament. The batting is something that the Virat Kohli-led side will have to look in. West Indies on the other hand are placed comfortably at the top of the table with two wins out of two. It will be very interesting to see the team combinations of both the sides.
West Indies have won the toss and elected to field.
Kohli: 'I would have bowled first as well. It's a relaid wicket. The wicket looks dry. It should not change much. We are always under pressure. Even in a practice game. We are not thinking too much about it. Bhuvneshwar Kumar comes in for Mohammad Shami.'
Dwayne Bravo: 'We are going to bowl first. We want to restrict them to a low score. I'm looking forward to this game. The break has helped me. It's good to win consistently. This game is also very important. Weare not take them lightly. It is a new day. Devon Smith is out and I'm in.'
West Indies (Playing XI): Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo(c), Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin(w), Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Kemar Roach, Tino Best
India (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli(c), Dinesh Karthik(w), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
Pitch report: There is a lot of grass on the track. The pitch is nice and hard. Russell Arnold expects bounce as well as swing early on. He reckons it could spin later in the game as well.
Having suffered back-to-back losses, India's campaign is in tatters and they will need to re-group quickly as they virtually face a must-win situation in the tri-series match against West Indies. Meanwhile, the hosts, who are all but through to the final, having registered consecutive victories, will look to extend their winning run.
Current standings: West Indies are best placed so far with nine points, courtesy two wins from as many matches while Sri Lanka are second with five points. Both the teams have managed to win a bonus point as well. For India, who do not have any points so far, a victory againt the Caribbean side will keep them alive in the competition while their defeat would send the hosts into the final and also make India's chances of qualifying that much tougher.
The Champions Trophy winners have suddenly looked vulnerable as the young Indian players found it tough to come to terms with the sluggish pitch conditions. As if the two-paced Caribbean wickets were not enough to trouble the Indians, an injury to charismatic skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has only made the job more complex for them. The contest against West Indies comes as a huge challenge and test for the leadership skills of Virat Kohli, who is being considered as a future captain of the country. Kohli's tactics during the big-defeat against Sri Lanka did not work and it will be interesting to see how he leads the young pack in the pressure match, where a defeat will virtually ensure their elimination.
India's batting was found wanting in both the matches with the top-order failing to impress. While Rohit Sharma managed a half-century in India's opening game against the Windies, the rest of the batsmen were not quite at their best, as India ended up with a total of 229. Their batting worsened in the game against Sri Lanka when they were skittled for 187. Shikhar Dhawan has not been able to extend his Champions Trophy form and India will be hoping for the left-hander to be back at his best soon. Kohli, Karthik and Raina too have not done much and will be eager to make amends. As far as the bowling is concerned, Umesh Yadav, R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma did a fine job against West Indies, almost pulling off a thrilling win. However, all the bowlers took a hammering in their next match against Sri Lanka as the Angelo Mathews-led side posted a mammoth 348. Ravindra Jadeja has not been amongst the wickets, which will be a concern for the Indian side. While they will be eager to see the left-hander allrounder regain his CT form, they will be hoping for a much more disciplined approach from the rest of the bowlers post the thrashing they received at the hands of Sri Lanka.
Team News: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was left out in favour of Shami Ahmed, is likely to be back for this game. Murali Vijay, who replaced MS Dhoni for the previous game, is likely to retain his place.
West Indies will be on a high following their good showing at Kingston, Jamaica which has almost assured them a place in the final. They will look to continue in the same vein in the second half of the tri-series as the action shifts to Port of Spain in Trinidad. The hosts, however, do have some issues that they need to sort out. Their batting suffered a mini collapse against Sri Lanka while they barely went past the line against India. West Indies will be hoping for a more clinical performance in the remaining matches and will look to avoid getting into close situations.
Chris Gayle was at his explosive best against Sri Lanka, coming up with an aggressive hundred, while Johnson Charles gave a good account of himself in the game against India by scoring a splendid 97. Darren Bravo too did himself a lot of good with a confidence-boosting half-century in their last game while Darren Sammy has also shown his usefulness with the bat lower down the order. What West Indies will be slightly concerned about is the form of Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard and Denesh Ramdin, who haven't produced anything big with the bat in this series. As far as the bowling is concerned, the likes of Kemar Roach, Tino Best and Sunil Narine have been amongst the wickets, which augers well for the home team.
Team News: West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo, who missed the previous match againt India due to a groin strain, is likely to be back and might replace Devon Smith. Ravi Rampaul, who did well against Sri Lanka, suffered an ankle injury and was ruled out of the series. Best did a decent job of filling in for Rampaul against India and is likely to retain his place although West Indies have the option of including Jason Holder.