PREVIEW: Windies must play for pride
St John’s, Antigua, CMC – West Indies find themselves trying to redeem themselves after losing the Digicel Pearls One-Day Series, and playing for respect, when they face India in the fourth match on Monday.
The Windies trail 0-3 in the five-match series, following a three-wicket loss in the third Digicel Pearls ODI on Saturday at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy described this defeat as an opportunity that got away from his side, after a sensational, unbeaten 92 from Andre Russell appeared to get them back into the match.
“We have not been getting runs from the top,” he said. “We have been getting a lot of lower order runs, and it has been happening from the previous series [against Pakistan]. We still have to work on it, but I can’t fault the effort of the guys. They showed a lot of character [on Saturday].”
Sammy added: “Everybody believed that we could win, after we fought back so well, but we lacked the finishing touch,” he said. “But like the Pakistan ODI series, we will be going all out to win the last two matches to try and redeem ourselves.”
India’s captain Suresh Raina strongly hinted that his side would give some of the bench players some time in the middle. The visitors have played the same 11 for the first three matches, and this meant that others like Ravichandran Ashwin, Vinay Kumar, Wriddihiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, and Manoj Tiwary have not yet had their chance.
“We have a couple of guys sitting on the bench, and we hope to give everyone their chance in the last two games,” said Raina.
He added: “God has been very kind to all the boys. Credit goes to (coach) Duncan Fletcher, (bowling coach) Eric Simons, and the other support staff. We have gelled well as a team. We didn’t get much time for preparation after the IPL. We came here and had a few quality team meetings and practice sessions. That helped us.”
West Indies are trying to reverse a record that has seen them now lost all five ODIs they have contested at the this ground since it was constructed ahead of the World Cup in 2007.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Carlton Baugh Jr, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Danza Hyatt, Kemar Roach, Anthony Martin, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons
India: Suresh Raina (captain), Subramaniam Badrinath, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh
Umpires: Ian Gould, Norman Malcolm
Television umpire: Joel Wilson
ICC match referee: Jeff Crowe
Fourth official: Gregory Brathwaite