CHENNAI, India, IANS/CMC – Both the Indian and West Indian camps seem unanimous that the Chepauk pitch will be slow and might assist spinners in the fifth and final game of the One-Day International series here today.
Windies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin said judging from recent experience, he expected the wicket to provide the slower bowlers with some encouragement.
“From what we saw in the recent Champions League matches, the pitch will be a bit slow and help spinners. The first 15 overs will be critical in terms of getting a good start,” he pointed out.
Rahul Sharma, the rookie leg-spinner who picked up three wickets in the last game in Indore game, also eyed the strip with some glee.
“It appears to be a spinner’s wicket,” Sharma told reporters here yesterday when both teams had optional practice sessions.
The last ODI at the MA Chidambaram Stadium was between the same two teams during the World Cup last March, with India emerging winners.
Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin and left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh played crucial roles as the Windies were dumped for 188 chasing 269 for victory.
Ramdin said, however, the Windies were keen on winning the final game, pointing out that a 3-2 result would prove a more accurate reflection of how the series had gone.
“We have shown a lot of character in the series where a couple of matches could have gone either way,” he pointed out.
“We have played well, but some areas didn’t show up. We hope to put up a fight on Sunday and make it 3-2 which is better than 4-1.”
Ramdin said the West Indies team had no injury worries, though some players were nursing “niggles”, but expected everyone to be fit for the game.
“There are no injury worries for us except that a couple of the players have niggles, but our physio is working on them and I expect everyone to be fit for selection on Sunday,” said Ramdin.
West Indies conceded the series on Thursday after India piled up a record 418 for five in Indore, behind captain and opener Virender Sehwag’s breathtaking 219.
Until then, the Windies seemed to be making a fist of it after losing the first two matches but bouncing back to win the third by 16 runs.
But despite already having the series locked up, Sharma said India would not be easing up.
“We hope to win and make it 4-1,” he noted.
The game bowls off at 2.30 pm (5 am Eastern Caribbean time).
INDIA – Virender Sehwag (captain), Varun Aaron, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Abhimanyu Mithun, Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), Irfan Pathan, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Rahul Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Vinay Kumar.
WEST INDIES – Darren Sammy (captain), Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Danza Hyatt, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Andre Russell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Anthony Martin, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Jason Mohammed.