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India seek divine intervention against Windies

cricket Updated: Sep 29, 2009 22:53 IST

IANS
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India will be hoping for some divine intervention when they take on the West Indies in their last Group A match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Wednesday, in their bid to qualify for the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

India are virtually out of the tournament after their Monday's must-win match against defending champions Australia was washed out.

Now India can only wait and watch as their progress hinges on several factors. Even if they beat the West Indies in the day-night encounter, they have to hope that Pakistan beat Australia by a huge margin in the day match at the Centurion.

Nothing went right for India in the tournament and only a miracle can save them from making an early exit in the second consecutive International Cricket Council (ICC) event in the year. If their performance against Pakistan was below par, it was nature's betrayal which forced them to split points with Australia.

But India have all but to blame themselves for their lacklustre performance in the tournament. Indian bowlers, barring Ashish Nehra,were out of sort in both the matches while the bastmen couldn't convert the starts they got against Pakistan.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he would be keenly following Wednesday's Pakistan-Australia clash.

"We would delay our team selection. It depends on how the match is progressing. If we need to strengthen our batting we would do so. If we need the bowling to get stronger, we would do that," Dhoni said.

"Not only the coach and the support staff, even the seniors need to chip in with their advice. Unfortunately, not everything is in your hands. Lot of things need to happen: Pakistan to win, we to beat West Indies and the net run-rate.

"We are cheering for Pakistan as they play a day game. We will know where we stand when we go out. Hopefully Pakistan win," said Dhoni.

On India's performance in the ongoing tournament, Dhoni blamed his bowlers for the poor show.

"We batted in only one game so you can't say the batting has let us down. But we have bowled twice and we are not bowling that well.

Yesterday (against Australia), the bowlers were much better, they were neither too short nor too full. But we have to admit we didn't bowl that well," he said.