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Job done, time for fringe players

India will have the luxury of fielding the bench for the last two one-dayers — in Antigua on Monday and the final match in Kingston, Jamaica. N Ananthanarayanan reports. Under-strength India in recent times

india Updated: Jun 13, 2011 01:21 IST
N Ananthanarayanan

India will have the luxury of fielding the bench for the last two one-dayers — in Antigua on Monday and the final match in Kingston, Jamaica.

The visitors, who many felt were depleted due to the absence of senior players, have dominated the struggling hosts, who finally appeared to have the visitors under pressure at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Saturday. But having secured the game, it is time to give a break to some of those who have toiled in the searing heat and humidity. This will mean a change of personnel for the fourth ODI on Monday.

“With two more games to go and players sitting on the bench, they really want to play,” skipper Suresh Raina said.

Raina is looking to field middle-order batsman Manoj Tiwary, who was a picture of consistency in the IPL, as well as offie R Ashwin and pacers Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar.

There is unlikely to be respite for the West Indies as the quartet had a good IPL season and will be eager to make sure that India complete a clean sweep.

Tiwary, in particular, will be desperate to erase the memory of his first and only ODI he played in Australia, in 2008, and the downward spiral that followed due to a shoulder injury.

But the massive gain of this series has been the brilliance of leg-spinner Amit Mishra and his gaining confidence ahead of the three-Test series.

“He showed a lot of control and variety,” said Raina. “He has done well in Ranji Trophy and IPL. He has the googly and control over the loop. I hope he plays in the Tests and does well.”

For the West Indies, any win will be a positive. Darren Sammy’s side sparkled briefly but has been inadequate against a professional India side.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/13_06_pg16a.jpg

While senior batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan and opener Lendl Simmons have contributed consistently, all eyes will be on the possible return of left-hander Darren Bravo.

Bravo was dropped for the last two games but batting coach Desmond Haynes was seen giving him throw downs after the match on Saturday. The man, whose shots resemble Brian Lara’s, will have to come to grips quickly to underline his potential.