Tri-series preview: India in top form ahead of WI clash

On a roll after their Champions Trophy triumph, the Indian cricket team would aim to continue the unbeaten run when they take on the West Indies, who would be eyeing revenge, in their opening clash of the tri-nation ODI series on Sunday.

The Indians got barely a few days to rejoice after their Champions Trophy win before boarding the flight to the Caribbean and fatigue could be the only worry for a side which looks in unbeatable form.

The West Indians, on the other hand, would be eager to extract revenge for the loss to India in a Champions Trophy group match.

The hosts have in fact, started impressively in the ongoing series mauling Sri Lanka in their lung-opener. The biggest positive from the game was the return to form of Chris Gayle, who was slightly off-colour in the Champions Trophy.

PTI

The Indians got barely a few days to rejoice after their Champions Trophy win before boarding the flight to the Caribbeans. PTI

Gayle's marauding hundred, which included seven sixes and nine fours, helped the West Indies overhaul a 209-run target in a mere 37.5 overs. He would without doubt be the backbone of the West Indian batting against India as well.

Both the sides are well aware of each other's strengths and weaknesses as their key players have played in the Indian Premier League either with or against each other.

Interestingly, rival captains Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo are Chennai Super Kings teammates while Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle turned out for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

A look at the teamsheets will, however, give India the edge. Their batting looks in awesome form. Rohit Sharma, as an opener, proved to be a success in the Champions Trophy.

His partner Shikhar Dhawan is also in sublime form and was the star of India's title-winning campaign. And it is unlikely that India will disturb the winning combination that saw Dinesh Karthik promoted to No. 4 and Dhoni up at No. 5 ahead of Suresh Raina.

On the other hand, in spite of their enormous potential, the West Indies remain a fickle lot. But there is no denying that West Indies have the experience and the talent to give the Indians a run for their money.

Gayle, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels can see off India's new ball bowlers — the troika of Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma — but will have to apply themselves.

West Indies will surely test the Indian batsmen with both speed and spin. Pacers Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul can be a handful while spinner Sunil Narine will always have a few tricks up his sleeve.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav.

West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (capt), Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Devon Smith, Darren Sammy, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Sunil Narine, Tino Best, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach.

PTI

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