The Indian batting looks a bit dodgy at least on paper, writes W.V. Raman
The Indian selectors have decided to retain the same squad for the Caribbean tour, thereby proving that they really are looking at the future.
Mohd. Kaif quite obviously would have been on tenterhooks prior to the announcement but his retention clearly underlines the fact that players with a good record in the past combined with agility will be given that extra yard of rope. His form or lack of it rather might not inspire confidence but the team management and selection committee have decided to back their decision.
It would have been extremely difficult for Kiran More to explain if Kaif were to be dropped given that he was sitting out in Abu Dhabi.
The youngsters will have an opportunity to get a measure of the conditions in the West Indies which will help them early next year during the World Cup. A tour of West Indies will toughen the youngsters even though the current West Indies side is not the strongest in international cricket. Besides, the pitches can be unpredictable, as they are not maintained as well as they were in the late eighties. They may not be pacy but the under-prepared tracks can make life difficult for batsmen.
The Indians will be hoping to continue their winning streak in the one-dayers but it is interesting that the team is loaded with five fast bowlers and two off spinners.
The Indian batting looks a bit dodgy at least on paper and they will be looking at Dhoni and Pathan to contribute substantially. Sehwag's return to form will give some sort of fillip to the side and, but for Dravid and Yuvraj, the middle order appears a bit vulnerable.
Suresh Raina and Venugopala Rao are just about getting a hang of international cricket and with Kaif not in form; it will be a big test for the Indian batting line up.Team India has overcome the odds by being positive at home but how well it adapts to the alien conditions will be the key factor.
The fast bowlers will look forward to some helpful conditions and they will be rotated in order to keep all of them fresh. Powar will find the Caribbean batsmen to his liking as they play their shots. He relies on beating the batsmen in the air and the West Indian batsmen find it tough against bowlers who bowl slower through the air like Powar.
The Indians will be happy that the one-dayers are played ahead of the Test matches as they have been playing the shorter version in the last few weeks.
Moreover, the players will have some well-deserved rest and they will be recharged. Interesting yes, as cricket in the Caribbean has its own flavour and each island will provide entertainment in its own ways. The crowds love their cricket and appreciate quality performers. The festive atmosphere at every venue will provide that added incentive for the tourists and it is rock `n' roll time as far as the youngsters are concerned.