Daijiworld Media Network
Kingston, Jun 30: A warm welcome to one and all for the second match in this Tri-series competition. It is West Indies vs India at Kingston. The home team are in the driver's seat after earning a bonus point against Sri Lanka and they will be looking to put one over the reigning ODI world champions. India will be playing their first match after their victory in the final of the Champions Trophy and they will look for a winning start.
West Indies have won the toss and elected to field.
Pollard will be leading the hosts as Dwayne Bravo is injured. Ravi Rampaul who sprained his ankle in the previous game will also miss out.
MS Dhoni: 'I won quite a bit in the Champions cup so I'm happy with it (when asked about losing the toss). The wicket is a little dark. I think there will be some moisture. It's a good place to play cricket. We are looking to enjoy. I'm just practical. As a captain of the side, I know the strengths and weaknesses. We want to do the small things right and not look too far ahead. It's a very fun unit. It seems they are really enjoying. If you are enjoying the pressure then it bodes well. We are playing the same side that won the final.'
Pollard: 'We are going to bowl first. After the first game, Dwayne had a bit of a strain. It's a long series so we want to be cautious. Tino Best comes in for Rampaul. The guys are looking forward to it. India have just won the Champions cup.'
West Indies (Playing XI): Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard(c), Denesh Ramdin(w), Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Kemar Roach, Tino Best
India (Playing XI): Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni(w/c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
Match Preview: Upbeat India seek winning start
When India last won a major ICC tournament, the 2011 World Cup, the team had less then 6 days to savor the triumph as they were back on the field not as an unit, but as part of various franchises that were vying for the Indian Premier League. The scene is only slightly different this time around, India have just won a taxing tournament, the Champions Trophy, and are set to be back on the field in exactly 7 days since then.
Whatever be the merits or demerits of the CT, one can argue that winning this tournament is tougher than the World cup. There were no easy matches in England, a team could not afford to lose even a single game, as some of the sides found. India were pitted in a tough group, the team was fairly inexperienced, with some of the World Cup heroes out, either through fitness issues, poor form or by way of retirement. The pundits had placed them as one of the underdogs going into the tournament. There was surprise in store though as India thrilled their large contingent of fans with stupendous performances in one game after another and finally achieved what seemed to be highly impossible - the triple of an ODI World Cup, World T20 and the Champions Trophy - a feat achieved previously only by West Indies.
Just days after their crowning glory in England, they are now back on the field - for what many argue is just another triangular series - the sort of matches that are killing the already unpopular 50 over format of the game. India have traveled across continents, they have left chilly and rainy Birmingham, and have arrived at a hot and sunny Jamaica as the tournament gets rolling.
West Indies will be their first opponents on Sunday. Dwayne Bravo's men have shaken off their disappointment at having been knocked out of the CT with a comprehensive victory over Sri Lanka in the first match. Sunil Narine was his usual self with the ball and Chris Gayle scored a typical hundred, his 21st century, first in 15 innings as he made the target of 209 look extremely light. Despite the win and with a bonus point, Bravo will know that their next opponents are made of sterner self.
While conceding that they will be up against a team that is high on confidence, Bravo has stated that the hosts are geared up at putting on a good show when they face the tourists on Sunday. 'I know it is going to be a cracker of a game. We know India are a very good team; it is going to be a very good game. Both teams are very strong in bowling and batting. Let us see how Sunday comes out,' he stated.
On the other hand, India will need to get used to the changes in condition, both overhead as well as the pitch as they seek to continue with their glorious form. Shikhar Dhawan had a tough initiation into cricket when he made a comeback during the 2011 tour of the Caribbean. 51, 3, 4 and 11 were his scores in four matches as he was constantly bullied into submission by the Windies bowlers. It will be a different Dhawan that the hosts will encounter now though, and they have had some first hand experience as well with the elegant left hander scoring an unbeaten 101 when the two sides met last time around at Kennington Oval.
Rohit Sharma, who has made another comeback, albeit as an opener, was the star performer when India toured last time in 2011. He top scored for the Indians with 257 runs at 128.50 while Amit Mishra was the leader of the bowling pack with 11 wickets at 18 apiece. With Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja having cemented their place, it remains to be seen if Mishra gets a look-in this time around.
Team News: West Indies have started the campaign on a positive note and they will not be needed to make any changes going into the second match.
India played an unchanged side right throughout their victorious Champions Trophy run. They might be tempted to give some of their squad members, who did not feature in England, a run in this tournament.
Weather conditions: Scattered thunderstorms have been predicted for the day, but so was the weather forecast on Friday and we had an uninterrupted game.
What is very important for us is not to look too far ahead. We will take it series by series - MS Dhoni has feet firmly on the ground despite the Champions Trophy win.
Winning the first game is always important. It was important to rotate the bowlers on a flat wicket. We kept taking wickets and stifling their innings - Dwayne Bravo had nothing but praise for his bowlers after an emphatic display against Sri Lanka.