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India seek revenge against WI

The team will be hoping to avenge this summer's 4-1 series drubbing by WI. Can Tendulkar restore team's confidence?

india Updated: Sep 14, 2006 18:15 IST

India, boosted by the return of star batsman Sachin Tendulkar, will be hoping to avenge this summer's 4-1 series drubbing by the West Indies when it opens its limited-overs tri-series campaign on Thursday against Brian Lara's team.

A downcast West Indies, meanwhile, is recovering from its shock, 78-run defeat at the hands of Australia in Tuesday night's opening match of the tournament.

Chasing Australia's total of 279 for 9, West Indian openers Shivnarine Chanderpaul (92) and Chris Gayle (58) shared a solid 136-run partnership before Chanderpaul was dismissed with the score at 172/ The West Indies lost its remaining wickets for 29 runs to be all out for 201 in 34.3 overs.

"It was a bit difficult to comprehend but these things do happen," captain Lara said. "We were on course to victory, and we found a way to lose."

Lara said his team will take the lessons learned from the defeat into its next three matches ahead of the Sept. 24 final. All three teams in the tournament as treating the tri-series tournament _ held for the first time in this tropical country _ as a tuneup ahead of next month's ICC Champions Trophy tournament in India.

Australia had not played any international cricket for more than seven months until Tuesday. India and the West Indies last played top level cricket during India's May-July tour of the West Indies. India lost the one-day international series during the tour 4-1, but won the test series.

"That psychological advantage (from the victories) that we have against India, we have to continue it here," said Lara. Also, having played one game already on the new Kinrara Oval _ where all seven matches will be held under floodlights _ gives the West Indies advance knowledge of the pitch, Lara said. "We've been on the park and we know what the pitch is playing like ... Hopefully the fact that they haven't played on this pitch will be an advantage to us," he said.

India made its tour of the West Indies without Tendulkar, one-day cricket's leading run-maker, who was recovering from shoulder surgery. He returned to the team for a tri-series last month in Sri Lanka, which was subsequently canceled due to rain. Chanderpaul said the West Indies are treating the return of Tendulkar with caution.

"We all know what Sachin can do," he said, adding that the Kinrara Oval wicket is not "easy to bat on."

"You could get a ball that takes off," Chanderpaul said. "It is a wicket on which the ball will seam around throughout the game. But you know Sachin can bat on it well also.

"It depends on how well we carry out our game plans and try and restrict them to a respectable total that we think we can chase."