It`s do or die for India against West Indies
Bridgetown: Handed a sound thrashing by Australia in their opening Super Eight match, India will have to quickly sort out their batting woes as they take on the West Indies in a do-or-die contest in the Twenty20 World Cup at the Kensington Oval.
Like the Indians, west Indies are also faced with a must-win situation, as another defeat would virtually put them out of contention for a place in the semifinals.
Fortunately for Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s men, the islanders do not have a lethal pace battery like the Australians. Kemar Roach may have troubled Ricky Ponting on bone-hard wicket Down Under, but he is not accurate like Dirk Nannes or Shaun Tait.
So the element of pace and bounce will not impact the Indian batsmen who had surrendered meekly to the Aussies` pace quartet.
Bounce there will be in this lively deck, but if the West Indian quicks -? Roach and Jerome Taylor -- don`t execute their skills, it will not frazzle the Indian top order.
India would have certainly learnt a lesson or two from their embarrassing 49-run drubbing on Friday.
Dhoni conceded that India had sought to fight fire with fire and had consequently paid for the imprudence.
The urge to play the pull shot, without getting inside the line of the ball, must have probably been flushed out of their psyche when they take the field.
Also, they would have worked on their bowling inadequacies, which was ruthlessly exposed by Shane Watson and David Warner during their hurricane 106-run partnership.
It is a comfort to play an extra batsman as an exigency against a collapse. But then, India can`t compromise on their bowling.
Part-time spinners or batting all-rounders could win them one game in ten. But it is the regular bowlers who can provide the breaks to gain momentum consistently.
This is one aspect that the Indian team management, which is sorely missing Virender Sehwag, would have taken into consideration before penning down the names for the bash against West Indies.
Without another opener in the 15-man squad, India would be forced to play Murali Vijay, who has struggled against the rising ball, bowled in the corridor of uncertainty.
No doubt he is technically sound, but in his aspiration to play shots on the up, he has failed miserably.
On the other hand, Chris Gayle`s boys would be determined to do well in front of their home crowd, especially after being mauled by 57 runs by Sri Lanka.