Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 5th 2015 Contents A62
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 5, 2015
Windies destiny in
their own hands
The West Indies must approach tomorrow s
match against India, as if their future in the tour-
nament depends on winning it. It makes little sense
Losing to India and then hoping for a big win in
their final first round match against the United Arab
Emirates, may guarantee them a weak fourth place,
and will suggest a lack of ambition on their part.
The stark reality is that their destiny is in their
own hands, and beating India, is about the best way
to demonstrate that they understand that.
In years gone by, West Indies would be favourites
to beat India at Perth - a track that is especially
bouncy and is likely to assist the quickies. But we
all know that the Indians are overwhelming favourites.
They are the defending champions, and their win
against South Africa was clinical. In addition, they
remain one of only two unbeaten teams in the tour-
They also have some quality batsmen like Shikkar
Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli, who is
now being hailed as the new Sachin Tendulkar.
We can expect them to come with guns blazing,
since they will want to top the group, and avoid Aus-
tralia and Sri Lanka, who are likely to finish second
and third in their group. A win guarantees them a
weak fourth place finisher in the quarterfinals.
The West Indies bowling looked so mediocre against
South Africa that they have to come up with a different
plan or they will find the Indian batsmen to be just
as belligerent and punishing as AB de Villiers and
company. We cannot expect to bowl the same way
and get different results.
I hope Kemar Roach is back in the team. If Roach
and Jerome Taylor can bowl up to their best form
and competence, India could well find themselves
with their backs against the wall. Both men can be
match winners on their best day.
Perhaps West Indies should sacrifice a batsman
to give some firepower to the bowling attack. It is
better to strengthen the bowling and have less runs
to compete against, rather that have a long batting
lineup with too much to chase.
This tournament has thrown up lots of matches
in which teams batting second have no chance in a
chase, and the game is ended after the first 50 overs.
Perhaps we need to do some adjustments to the
batting. Maybe leave out Dwayne Smith or Jonathon
Carter and go for an extra bowler. Whatever the
approach, it cannot be the same as the last match.
Even though we beat Zimbabwe and Pakistan,
there is need for a more attacking approach. Desire
and determination must be converted into aggression
and backed up by the will to win.
A victory against India will not only assure West
Indies of a place in the quarter finals, it will also
signal a resurgence of sorts, a message that we are
still a force in the limited overs version of the game,
and that we are not intimidated by the big teams.
It will also add confidence and take us into a phase
of the competition in which anything is possible,
once a team plays to its full potential. The last couple
of days saw the players meeting and mixing with
fans at official functions. This must have been a
stimulating experience and would have had a won-
derful effect on the players. The extent to which it
would have rejuvenated and motivated them will be
seen in the 100 overs in tomorrow's match.
West Indies will have a huge test on
their hands when they come up against
India at 2.30 am tomorrow morning, in
their fifth match of the ICC Cricket World
Cup at Perth, Australia.
Given the fact that the Perth pitch is one
of the fastest and bounciest in the world,
the West Indies needing to win this match,
will most likely go for an all out pace attack.
Chairman of the West Indies selection
panel Clive Lloyd hinted this at practice
He said, "It is something we are looking
at. The pitch has extra bounce and it could
give us an extra edge. However, our batting
has to improve from the last match. We
also must look carefully at our fielding."
If the West Indies go for pace alone, they
will omit spinner Sulieman Benn and play
the same attack, they used in the opening
loss to Ireland at Nelson.
"The guys are up for it. We know we have
to win these two games. Once we qualify
it will give us that impetus."
Lloyd also warned that India is a good
all round team and it would take a great
effort to beat them.
"India's pace bowling seems to be pretty
good and you have a good spin bowler in
(Ravichandran) Ashwin. Overall you have
got a good variety and I think India have
good all-round strength."
"India's middle order is pretty good. (Virat)
Kohli has been excellent for India. MS
(Mahendra Singh) Dhoni can do anything
any time. A good all-round side is the reason
why you've been champions. I'm sure they
want to be there at the end. Kohli has been
a tremendous player over the last two years
and now you have the likes of (Shikar)
Dhawan coming through. I think India
should do well. They've won three out of
three. So we can't fault their bowling or
their batting. India's always a formidable
side and they'll continue to be so. But when
you set a standard, people expect you to
keep that standard all the time. India are
doing well but I hope they don't do too well
on Friday (tomorrow)."
The last time these two nations met in
a one day international, the West Indies
players had just packed their bags in the
hotel to go home and the Indians were
playing in their conditions at Dharamshala
in the mountains in India.
Tomorrow morning (2.30 am), when they
meet at the WACA in Perth, the situation
will be totally different. The West Indies
players don't intend to pack their bags early
to go home from this World Cup, while the
Indians will have to contend with the fastest
pitch in Australia. The West Indies players
are focussed on the field, not their bank
accounts for this game, so the Indians will
not find it easy against the men from the
blue waters of the Caribbean.
West Indies have found themselves in a
position where they need to win their final
two games to ensure movement into the
quarterfinals, while the Indians are virtually
there, having taken care of Pakistan, the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) and South
Africa in their three games to date. Even if
they lose to the West Indies, they will more
than likely go through, as they still have to
face Zimbabwe and Ireland before rounding
up their preliminary play.
The West Indies have to win this match
and they also have to take care of the UAE
in their final match at Napier in New Zealand
on March 15. If the West Indies lose here,
they will have to beat UAE badly in their
final game to stand a chance of making the
The support from the stands will not be
in favour of the West Indies, as Indian fans
have overtaken Australia, so much so that
they can even give the locals a run for their
money, if they clash with Australia later on
in the tournament.
Former captain and senior player on the
West Indies team, Darren Sammy, believes
that the fans are in for a treat at the WACA.
The match will be played on a very aus-
picious day for the Indians, as back home
many will adorn themselves with bright
colours to celebrate Holi'. Sammy wants to
spoil that party.
"India could celebrate Holi and we could
hopefully celebrate a win."
Opener Chris Gayle will need to play a
big hand against bowlers he is very familiar
with, given his stints in the Indian Premier
Gayle comes into the clash nursing an
injured back but Sammy says it should not
be a back factor.
"Chris Gayle's back has been the same
for the last three years but he continues to
turn up and perform for us," he said instead.
"He is a senior player and once he is fit and
he believes he could make it, he will turn
up and give his all for the team."
Another big factor for the West Indies is
the below par bowling performances to date.
"I think it's not been consistent, we don't
create enough pressure on the opposition
when we bowl and as you could see the
games when we bowl well, when we get it
right and be consistent, we compete with
the best in the world. It's about hitting our
line and length and especially in the death
overs, hit our yorkers and come back with
a plan. It's quite difficult to stop the batsmen
with four men outside the circle. So we
have to come up with a plan before to min-
imise the damage that can be done in the
backend of the innings," said Sammy.
"Any fast bowler would be excited about
bowling at the WACA. It's one of the quick-
est wickets in the world, but that said, India
is playing really well. It's not that our fast
bowlers will come and blast the batsmen
out. You still need to put the ball in the
right areas and look to get the result. And
that's what we have to do."
Windies look to
pace against India
Lloyd wary of unbeaten India
WEST INDIES: Jason Holder (captain),
Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Marlon
Samuels, Johnson Charles, Lendl
Simmons, Jonathan Carter, Denesh
Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell,
Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman
Benn, Nikita Miller and Sheldon Cottrell.
INDIA: MS Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli,
Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh
Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja,
Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel,
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma,
Mohammed Shami, Stuart Binny and
LATEST GROUP B STANDINGS
WESTINDIES 4 2 2 0 0 4 -0.313
West Indies pacer Kemar Roach during the
West Indies training session at Murdoch
University Oval, Perth, Australia on
Tuesday. The regional side will meet India
in their fifth match of the ICC Cricket World
Cup. PHOTO: WINDIESCRICKET.COM
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