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Windies upbeat against youthful India bowling

Led by Bravo, the West Indies batting will look to cash in on India's inexperienced attack. Nikhilesh Bhattacharya reports.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2011 02:21 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson laughed at Friday's press conference when asked how it felt to face a 'young Indian side'. He was obviously thinking of the Indian batting order, which cannot be accused of being young, before remembering that the home side's bowling attack, indeed, is callow.

The first timers
The rebuilding of India's Test team following the 0-4 thrashing in England has begun with spin and pace.

There are four potential debutants in off-spinner R Ashwin, leg-spinner Rahul Sharma and pacers Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron.

For the West Indies, though, the process of rebuilding began earlier and they are here with a 15-member squad that has an average age of less than 26 with only two men, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels, who are over 30. Chanderpaul and Samuels are also the only two to have played Tests in India.

The visitors still believe they have it in them to challenge India. "We just have to do what we have to do and believe in our ability," said pacer Ravi Rampaul.

"We've just come out of a series win in Bangladesh and we are quite confident. If we play to our strength, there is no reason why we can't do well in the series."

The West Indies won the second Test against Bangladesh to win the two-match series 1-0.

Gibson spoke about the role played by the youngsters in the series win. "It is good to see so many of our young players coming into form and put in outstanding performances. We had (Darren) Bravo scoring a 195, Kirk Edwards scored a Test hundred, Darren Sammy contributed with both bat and ball."

Looking ahead
Led by Bravo, the West Indies batting will look to cash in on India's inexperienced attack. Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach are genuinely quick and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo has emerged as a wicket-taker. "He has to back his ability on these wickets that might spin," Gibson said.

That the visitors are keen to look ahead rather than back could be gauged from Rampaul's reaction to a question on the ongoing standoff between Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board, which has resulted in the left-handed opener's absence from the team since the World Cup.

Rampaul was shaking his head while the question was being asked. "No comments," was all he said.