Friday, June 14, 2024
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India eye clean sweep

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Mumbai: The series in their grasp following convincing victories in the first two matches, India would be aiming for a clean sweep against the West Indies in the third and final cricket Test commencing at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday.

All eyes will once again be on Sachin Tendulkar, who is just one short of his elusive 100th international century. Having missed the chance to get it in the first two Tests, he will be keen to finally achieve the remarkable milestone on his home turf.

If the West Indies want to clinch the final inconsequential Test and give themselves a big morale boost ahead of the five-match one-day rubber that follows, they need to get their act together in all departments of the game.

A glimpse of what the visiting team’s batsmen are capable of if they apply themselves and play with determination was there to be seen in the second innings of the second Test in Kolkata when they nearly saved the innings defeat after yet another poor batting display in the first innings.

There’s a question mark about the West Indies bowling attack which has largely struggled to dismiss the formidable Indian batting line-up though pitch curator Sudhir Naik has promised a “sporting wicket”.

The hosts, on the other hand, are sitting pretty though they would be wary of becoming complacent and pay the price of the dead rubber syndrome.

While the Indian batting, formidable as it is in home conditions, was expected to come good, the heart-warming display put up by its inexperienced bowling attack has come as a major boost. Spinners Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin have been the main wreckers of the West Indian batting line-up.

The pitch for the third Test may not be as conducive to spin as the first two Test tracks and the slow bowlers need to prey on the patience of the West Indian batsmen to prise out errors.

Squads:

India: M S Dhoni (Capt, wk), V Sehwag, G Gambhir, R Dravid, S Tendulkar, V V S Laxman, R Sharma, I Sharma, R Ashwin, P Ojha, U Yadav, V Kohli, A Rahane, Rahul Sharma, V Aaron

West Indies: D Sammy (Capt.), A Barath, K Brathwaite, K Powell, K Edwards, D Bravo, S Chanderpaul, M Samuels, C Baugh, F Edwards, R Rampaul, K Roach, D Bishoo, D Ramdin, SShillingford. (PTI)

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