WI look to reclaim first ODI brilliance
DHARAMSALA, India (CMC):
West Indies will attempt to reignite the brilliance which earned them a commanding opening win over India when the two sides clash in the fourth one-day international (ODI) today. (Match starts 4 a.m. Ja time and is live on ESPN)
A win for either side at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium will ensure a 2-1 lead in a series tied up one game apiece after the third game was called off due to inclement weather.
West Indies demolished India in the opening ODI, but lost the second when they imploded on the chase after they were on course to victory.
"We're in good stead and the guys are upbeat about the fourth ODI," said team manager Richie Richardson.
"We believe that we can do well and the conditions here will favour us, and if that is the case, it'll be a very exciting match."
West Indies are expected to continue with a makeshift opening combination using Darren Bravo or brother Dwayne Bravo to partner with Dwayne Smith at the top of the order.
Lendl Simmons has been ruled out of the entire series with a back injury, and left-arm orthodox spinner Nikita Miller has been called up as a replacement.
Miller is being flown in from Sri Lanka where he is representing the West Indies A team.
"We have decided to replace Lendl Simmons with Nikita Miller," said Richardson.
"Initially, it was assumed that Simmons would recover in time, but it was later revealed that the injury was more serious than it seemed. So we had to fly him home."
The West Indies camp is excited about the pitch at HPCA stadium which is expected to offer some help to their bowlers including Jerome Taylor, a major thorn in the side of the Indians during the second ODI.
Taylor has been impressive since returning to international cricket after a 32-month period plagued with injury.
"I haven't had a chance to look at the wicket yet," said Richardson.
"I, however, had a view of the outfield as we were coming to the ground, and it had me wanting to play cricket again."
The fourth ODI could hold major significance for skipper Dwayne Bravo, who is on the cusp of two milestones.
Bravo is 32 runs and a wicket away from becoming the ninth player to complete the ODI double of 3,000 runs and 200 wickets.
The series thus far has been overshadowed by a pay dispute between the West Indies players and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA).
WICB/BCCI media photo