Thursday, June 20, 2024

India eye improved show from batsmen


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Visakhapatnam: After narrowly escaping defeat in the series opener, India would look to guard against complacency and hope for an improved showing from their batsmen when they take on the West Indies in the second cricket one-dayer here on Friday.

India’s stand-in captain Virender Sehwag, who is leading the side in place of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has already cautioned the batsmen after the Cuttack match, saying there should not be any excuse for poor show.

“There is no excuse for anybody not scoring runs,” he said about India’s batting collapse in the first ODI. We have to back our batting. We have some exciting youngsters playing for last three four years,” Sehwag said.

But Dhoni, who has been rested for the series keeping in mind the upcoming tour of Australia, will be sorely missed by the spectators here.

Hosting a match after more than two years, the venue remains a testimony of Dhoni’s rise to stardom as it is this ground where he scored his maiden ODI sentury, a blistering 148 off 123 balls against Pakistan in 2005.But in the absence of senior players like Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar, the cricket-crazy crowd of the port city would be looking towards Sehwag to produce a gem of an innings tomorrow.

Sehwag, who was bowled by an incoming Kemar Roach delivery in Cuttack, would also be keen to improve his batting record as captain. He averages a poor 21.50 with 44 being his best score from eight matches as skipper.

Wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel also would be eyeing to make amends for his poor show in Cuttack and cash in on yet another oppotunity with both bat and gloves in place of Dhoni.

Among other Indian top-order batsmen, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, who all disappointed in Cuttack, will be desperate to avoid yet another collapse by returning among runs tomorrow.

Apart from Rohit, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was the other Indian batsmen to provide some resistence in the first ODI with a gritty 62-ball 38, and he would be hoping to convert his starts into big scores.

The inexperienced Indian bowlers, on the other hand, impressed all and sundry with their performance in Cuttack. (PTI)


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