WI can match India's batting firepower
With strong batting lineups in both teams, the squad that bowls and fields better will end up in front after the five games.india Updated: May 16, 2006 12:17 IST
As the series against Zimbabwe draws to a close this weekend, the West Indies team will be turning their attention towards India for the five ODIs.
This will be a completely different kettle of fish for the Windies. While Zimbabwe linger at the bottom of both the Test and ODI rankings, India have been proving their worth in both forms of the game, and not just on home soil.
Sure, the Windies have dominated the present series but like this last game, at times Zimbabwe have not been outclassed to the degree which one expected.
And that is good reason for the Windies fans to be a bit sceptical about the upcoming contest. India’s batting lineup, even without the injured Sachin Tendulkar, is a formidable one.
Fans in the Caribbean know a lot about Rahul Dravid and would have seen a bit of Virender Sehwag and at least heard about the recent exploits of Yuvraj Singh.
But add to those, the hard-hitting Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mohammad Kaif and the two young guns - Suresh Raina and Ramesh Powar - you get the idea that the Windies bowling attack could be thoroughly tested.
Yuvraj Singh has developed tremendously over the last 12 months or so and is now the finished article and Raina and Powar look to be two young batsmen going places but Dhoni is a destroyer.
He is a powerful man who could make these comparatively small West Indies cricket grounds look like indoor arenas.
It should not be all one way street where powerful hitting is concerned though as India’s captain Dravid has acknowledged that the West Indies batting lineup is not one to be sniffed at.
“Any team that has players of the quality of Lara, Sarwan, Gayle and Chanderpaul, is going to be a serious batting lineup," is how he put it on his arrival here. And that cannot be denied.
The Windies will have to be a lot more consistent with their performances though. It is great to have names on paper but it is the production that counts.
So, perhaps with such strong batting lineups in both teams, it will be the team that bowls and fields better that will end up in front after the five games.
The Windies should just be ahead in fielding with quick, sure-handed players like Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Ronako Morton and even Chanderpaul but the inexperienced bowlers will have their work cut out.
India’s victories in more recent times have come mostly from chasing targets and one could say that is also going to be the best chance of victory for the West Indies. So you could possibly see the toss in each match gaining greater significance.