India need to be wary of Windies challenge

London, June 10 (IANS/CMC) India have won all their matches since arriving in Britain but the West Indies, the reiging World Twenty20 champions, will pose a big challenge in Tuesday’s crucial Group B clash in the ICC Champions Trophy.

Both teams have won their opening fixtures, with India beating South Africa by 26 runs in the curtain-raiser last Thursday and West Indies edging Pakistan by two wickets in a low-scoring thriller at the Oval Friday.

India seemed to have sorted their opening woes with makeshift opener Rohit Sharma scoring a gritty half-century in against South Africa.

Shikhar Dhawan scored a deserving hundred as India piled another score above 300. The bowling though, lacked sting and it was only thanks to the spinners that India pulled things back after the pacers were plundered for runs early on.

India, who are yet to play at the Kensington Oval will have to adapt to conditions of the pitch quickly after playing their warm-up and first match in Cardiff.

In the meantime, the Windies will return to South London venue in search of yet another victory and Bravo said his side were confident of turning back the powerful Indians.

“It’s another tough game of a team coming up against a team where the strength is their batting. We have the right bowlers, who can control their batting Â… but like I always say, cricket is played on its day. India could turn up on Tuesday and be knocked over,” Bravo said.

“But we have the right attack. We have the reserve bench that is strong enough to actually come up with the 11 that I think will do well against the Indians. It’s all about how we all come together and try to make the best decision at the right time for the team.

“It was important that we got our first win out of the way and look forward to the rest of the games ahead.”

After downtime Saturday, the Windies were back in training Sunday with a full session in the outdoor nets at the Oval. They will hold another full session on Monday afternoon as they beef up their preparations.

They will take the confidence of their two-wicket win over Pakistan into the game, and will hope to collect another two points which will virtually assure them of a spot in the semi-finals.

Bravo noted that even though the victory was not as convincing as they would have liked, the result in the end was all that mattered.

“In the morning if I said Pakistan are going to be out for 170, I would take that any day. We wanted to bowl first as a team. I know I have two very good fast bowlers and once they put the ball in the right area and pitch up the ball, obviously, they will have wickets,” Bravo pointed out.

“It was a tough situation and we came out on top and that’s more important. It doesn’t matter if you lose eight or nine wickets, we got the two points that we wanted. So that was a very important game to us.”



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