PREVIEW: Windies and India face-off
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, CMC – West Indies’ new-look Twenty20 outfit will look to extend their success when they clash with India in the one-off Digicel Pearls T20 International on Saturday.
First ball is 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time)
The Windies beat Pakistan last month in a similar one-off fixture in St Lucia and will be keen to repeat that feat. However, they face an Indian side who are expected to present a much tougher challenge, though missing several big names. Usually upbeat captain Darren Sammy told a media conference Friday that West Indies were again confident despite the nature of their opponents.
“We won a Twenty20 and a Test match against Pakistan. We have not done it since 2009 and didn't win for 17 Tests. We have managed to draw the series at home against a higher-ranked team. The guys represented West Indies proudly and played their best. We are looking again to play and do well,” he said.
The match will launch the limited overs series which comprises five Digicel Pearls One-Day Internationals starting with a double-header here next week, and a full house is expected at the Queen’s Park Oval for the 10 am encounter.
Sammy will lead a side that includes the likes of T20 specialists Ashley Nurse, Chris Barnwell and Danza Hyatt, along with the more experienced Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons and Marlon Samuels. Despite the young nature of the side, Sammy said he believed they could continue to reap success once they remained focussed.
“We have to continue to put in the hard work. We are a confident group of young men, and we will go into the series with the belief that we can win,” the 27-year-old all-rounder said. “When you come up against the top-ranked team in the world, you are really motivated to do well. We have discussed this and the guys are all really pumped up and ready to battle India.”
India, meanwhile, are missing some of their big guns in regular captain MS Dhoni, legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, all of whom have not travelled for varying reasons. Despite the absence of the high-profile players, Raina said he believed India had enough firepower to subdue West Indies.
“It (captaincy) is a great challenge to me and I’m really looking forward to that,” said Raina, who led India in similar on a tour of Zimbabwe last May. “We have good players who want to do well in this series. They have done well in first-class cricket and the IPL or in the World Cup team. We have a young team here and they are focused on doing well for India and I am excited to see how they perform over the next few weeks.”
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Christopher Barnwell, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Andre Fletcher, Danza Hyatt, Ashley Nurse, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Lendl Simmons
India: Suresh Raina (captain), Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel,Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Vinay Kumar
Umpires: Norman Malcolm, Peter Nero
Television umpire: Joel Wilson
Fourth official: Gregory Brathwaite
ICC Match referee: Jeff Crowe