Windies looking to end on a high
Kingston, Jamaica, CMC –West Indies will be fully focussed on winning the fifth and final Digicel Pearls One-Day International against India at Sabina Park on Thursday, in order to further salvage pride ahead of the upcoming Digicel Test series.
The home side surrendered the first three matches but on Monday, they rebounded with an emphatic 103-run victory in the fourth match and a second successive win – as they did in the series against Pakistan recently – would be the perfect end to the five-match rubber.
“We played a good game in the last game so we’re looking to end the series on a winning note and get some momentum going into the Test match,” captain Darren Sammy told reporters here Wednesday.
“We’re looking to repeat or even better our performance from the last game. The goal is to go out there and perform in all three disciplines. In the batting, put up a good total; the bowlers have been doing well for the past three months or so and we need to field properly. We’re looking for an all-round effort out there from the guys.”
West Indies’ win in the second match of the doubleheader in Antigua on Monday coincided with their highest total of the series – 249 for eight off their 50 overs. The total was fueled largely by Kieron Pollard’s 70 and Simmons’ 67, but the remainder of the batting struggled, a fact that was not lost on Sammy.
“Throughout this series and the Pakistan series the batting has been our concern, the rotation of the strike and stuff like that,” the all-rounder explained. “Obviously the batsmen are aware that we need to put more partnerships [together] in the middle so hopefully we’ll look to improve on that come tomorrow.”
West Indies welcome back the talented opener Adrian Barath who has been dogged by a bothersome hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined for almost five months. The right-hander is expected to partner fellow Trinidadian Lendl Simmons at the top of the order, in a move that is expected to strengthen the side.
“The selectors will meet and come up with the best combination. Barath is back … and most likely he will be in and maybe that might be the only change,” Sammy said. “He’s very crucial for us. In the games he’s played he’s done well for us. He has a hundred on debut and a hundred in the last one-day series against Sri Lanka.
"He’s been doing very, very well at the top of the order. That’s a position where we’ve been able to put up good partnerships. The form that Simmons has and he (Barath) coming back, it’s good to have him in the team.”
Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul has also been recalled to the 13-man squad in a double change that has seen the struggling Kirk Edwards and Danza Hyatt dropped. India, meanwhile, are expected to continue to make changes to their final XI with the series already secured.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh Jr, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Anthony Martin, Kieron Pollard, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul
India: Suresh Raina (captain), Harbhajan Singh (vice captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary.