PREVIEW: WI aim to avoid 3-0 sweep
Mumbai, India -- West will be going all out to avoid a series whitewash when they face India in the third and final Test match on Tuesday. First ball in the match at the famous Wankhede Stadium is 9.30 am (11 pm Monday Eastern Caribbean Time/10 pm Jamaica Time).
The Windies lost the opening match at Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi by five wickets after taking a sizeable first innings and went under by an innings and 15 runs in the second match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata despite making 463 after being asked to follow-on.
Both teams had final training sessions alongside each other on Monday and Windies skipper Darren Sammy said his side will be looking to show more improvement in the batting as they play for pride and honour. Indian batting stalwart VVS Laxman said he side will be going “for the whitewash”.
“I think once we keep showing the improvement I am quite happy. Last Test we scored the highest second innings by a West Indian team following on,” Sammy said after Monday’s intense training session.
"To score 400-plus runs in the second innings is good to see. We weren’t rolled over. So far (we have) been playing good cricket but we have to be more consistent...If we bat well in the first innings, we don't bat as well in the second innings.”
The skipper added: “The team has some good players coming through, so it is about building and being consistent in our performances and that is what I know the coaches are looking forward to and I am looking forward to.”
The way their exciting talent Darren Bravo, who made a stylish 136 and Marlon Samuels (84) batted against the rampaging Indian spin duo of Pragyan Ojha and Ravichandran Ashwin has given them a confidence boost for the final match of the rubber.
With opener Adrian Barath and no. 3 Kirk Edwards also notching individual half centuries, the visitors would be looking forward to a similar batting display.
They have an injury worry ahead of the match with the ever-dependent Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who suffered a calf muscle strain, taking a break from the practice session on SUnday, but it is hoped he will take his place in the playing line-up.
Chanderpaul is a key batsman with his ability to play very late on Indian pitches and his record against the hosts is tremendous - over 2000 runs at over 65 per innings with seven centuries to boot from 23 encounters.
The 37-year-old Guyanese is crucial to West Indies hopes of notching up a consolation victory in the rubber in which they are 0-2 down after losing to India at Delhi and Kolkata. He has scored a century (118) and 47 twice in the four innings so far.
All eyes will once again be on Sachin Tendulkar, who is just one short of his elusive 100th international century. Having missed the chance to get it in the first two Tests, he will be keen to finally achieve the remarkable milestone on his home turf.
The Mumbai Cricket Association, have decided to throw open part of the North Stand free for 2,000 schoolchildren to watch the game and cheer the players.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Adrian Barath, Kragg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Carlton Baugh, Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Devendra Bishoo, Denesh Ramdin, Shane Shillingford
India: M S Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Sharma, Varun Aaron
Umpires: Bruce Oxenford and Tony Hill
Third Umpire: Shavir Tarapore
Match Referee: David Boon.