ICL: Indian Cricket League

India under pressure to beat West Indies for final hope


India know they must win their One-day International (ODI) match against the West Indies here on Wednesday to stand any chance of making the DLF Cup final, and are looking to their bowlers to get the job done.

The Indians come into the match under intense pressure having lost to the West Indies in their opening game, and then struggling to 35-5 in reply against Australia when rain came to their rescue on Saturday.

Captain Rahul Dravid is eager to get back to winning ways with the ICC Champions Trophy looming next month on home turf. “The new ball will be very important on tracks like this,” he said of the Kinrara Oval wicket.

“The ball also does a fair bit in the evening, especially if it rains. Because of the rain, the wicket is under the covers a lot and a lot of the moisture tends to come out.

“It will be interesting to see how the track plays if the sun comes out, the moisture dries up and you get the full 50 overs in the evening.”

While Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag have been bowling well, Irfan Pathan has been struggling with form, meaning young right armer Munaf Patel is likely to be entrusted with spearheading the attack.

“There’s bound to be a bit of pressure on us, but there’s pressure on the West Indies too. There’s pressure on all teams. We want to win the next two matches and make it to the final,” said Patel.

He added that he would focus on line and length rather than sheer pace against people like Brian Lara, Chris Gayle and Shivarine Chanderpaul, as that was what seemed to be paying off. “There has been bounce and movement for the quicker bowlers here, but it’s important to concentrate on line and length because those who stick to good lines and lengths are the ones who are having success,” he said, adding, “The boundaries are fairly small and if you sacrifice accuracy for pace, then you will go for plenty of runs.”

Against the odds, the West Indies have already qualified for the final on Sunday after victories over India and Australia, and their confidence is running high. The top of their order has been performing well but they remain vulnerable to middle-order batting collapses, which Lara is keen to halt.

“The guys are still finding their footing but hopefully more practice and we can get it right,” he said, adding that the whole team had been lifted by making the final. “It was important that we get to the final. We did not come here to play games and watch the final.”

Lara is hoping that his leading fast bowler Corey Collymore will be fit after missing all their matches so far with a right thigh injury. In his absence, Ian Bradshaw and Jerome Taylor have opened the attack. “We would love to have Collymore on the park,” said Lara, and hinted one or two other changes could be in store.

“We’d like to see all 14 guys in our squad have a go.” If India win on Wednesday, their match against Australia on Friday will decide who plays in the final.

Tri-Series Team Standings

Teams P W L NR Pts NRR

West Indies 3 2 1 - 9 -0.284

Australia 3 1 1 1 7 +0.640

India 2 - 1 1 2 -1.450

Remaining matches: September 22 Australia v India. September 24 Final. All matches at Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur, and day/night fixtures
Source:The News

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