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All set for first ODI at Kingston

cricket Updated: Jun 26, 2009 00:17 IST

AFP
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India face West Indies in the first game of their four-match ODI series here on Friday.

After a horrendous performance at the Twenty20 World Cup, India will look to restore pride while their opponents would love to transform the fine form they exhibited in England into the one-day internationals.

India, who entered the World T20 as defending champions, returned empty-handed, much to the chagrin of their fans.

In fact, it was the seven-wicket loss to the West Indies in the first SuperEights game that dented India’s hopes.

Tiredness and injuries were said to be the cause of India's demise, but they have had close to two weeks to relax and prepare for this series in the Caribbean.

Apart from restoring pride, India will consider this as an opportunity to leapfrog Australia, and target chart-toppers South Africa in the ODI rankings. They are currently placed third.

Needless to say, this promises to be an invigorating series.

India haven't played an ODI series since their tour to New Zealand in March.

However, their recent record has been impressive. They have lost only three of their last 18 matches, and have emerged as one of strongest ODI sides over the last year.

But then, the West Indies could be a tricky opposition, especially in their backyard. Despite making the semis in World T20, their tour to England could be termed miserable. They were thrashed in the Tests and also in the ODIs.

India will go into the match with a minor advantage though.

They have been in the Jamaican capital since last Friday while the West Indies players - including a few fresh faces -started arriving only on Tuesday.

Yet West Indies coach John Dyson has a warning for the Indians.

"We will play aggressive cricket, we will play to win as always, and we will aim for consistency," said Dyson.

"We always look at the opposition and try and determine who the key players are for the opposition and think of ways that we may combat those key players."

The short ODI series against India is part of a busy home programme for the West Indies, who also host Bangladesh for two Tests, three ODIs and a T20 international in July and August.

Squads (from):
West Indies: Gayle (capt), Ramdin, Baker, Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Benn, Bernard Jr, Chanderpaul, Deonarine, Morton, Rampaul, Sarwan, Taylor
India
MS Dhoni (capt), Yuvraj, Gambhir, Rohit, Harbhajan, Ojha, Yusuf, Vijay, Badrinath, RP Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant, Nayar, Nehra, Jadeja, Karthik
Schedule
June 26: 1st ODI Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamica
June 28: 2nd ODI Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamica
July 3: 3rd ODI Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia
July 5: 4th ODI Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia

Live on Ten Sports from 8 pm.