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Misfiring India has mountain to climb

Up against India, who has lost both its games so far, is a confident West Indies side, well atop the points table right now

Misfiring India has mountain to climb - Cricket News
India is on the brink of elimination.
India has been pushed to the brink of elimination at the Celkon Mobile Tri-Nations Series and has an uphill task on its hands as the second leg of the tournament begins in Port of Spain on Friday (July 5). India will be facing a confident West Indies side that has been buoyed by two victories in as many games and will be bolstered by the return of Dwayne Bravo, the captain, who missed the game against India in Jamaica.
India will be smarting from the spanking it received at the hands of Sri Lanka in its last match, losing by 161 runs and not even doing enough to deny Sri Lanka the bonus point. India was outclassed by Sri Lanka in all aspects of the game and has a Himalayan task ahead if it is to push for qualification in the final on July 11.
Virat Kohli, the Indian captain in MS Dhoni’s absence, has said that he relishes the challenge posed by the risk of elimination. The challenge, of course, is crystal clear and India knows what it has to do to qualify for the final and top off the successful Champions Trophy campaign – win both games.
The arrival of Ambati Rayudu should provide a boost to the Indian squad as he slots in at Dhoni’s slot automatically and has the potential to provide a late-innings spark. Murali Vijay seemed oddly out of place at No. 3 against Sri Lanka, struggling to put bat to ball in a tall chase, and Rayudu could replace him in the playing XI. India will also be looking to Shikhar Dhawan to return to the form he was in not too long ago to set the game up for Kohli, Suresh Raina and the others in the middle order.
West Indies is in a comfortable space, where its passage to the final is almost certain. The bowlers have shown the ability, in familiar environs, to restrict both India and Sri Lanka. The batsmen have almost all chipped in, with big contributions from one of the top-order batsmen in both the matches. As for the playing XI, Devon Smith is expected to make way for the returning Bravo.
The pitch at the Queen’s Park Oval looked similar to the one at Sabina Park and should be good for batting right through the day. That’s not necessarily good news for the Indian bowlers, who were taken apart by Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene as Sri Lanka posted a record-setting 348 for 1. It’s a familiar refrain that Indian bowlers are just not good enough in conditions that don’t aid them much and though they have stuck to the plan of using three frontline seamers so far, it might be time to give Amit Mishra a game.
Bravo has reminded everybody that India is still the No. 1 side in One-Day Internationals and his side will not be complacent at any stage and will be going full tilt to seal a spot in the final on its own terms.
Bravo wants West Indies to become a consistent side, stringing wins together till it becomes a habit rather than a surprise, and the process is very much underway. While Kohli will be hoping that the other members of his side also relish the challenge as much as he does to give India any realistic chance of getting to the final – lose to West Indies on Friday and it is all but out of the tournament.
Teams (likely)
West Indies
: Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo (capt), Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Kemar Roach, Tino Best.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (capt), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

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