Port of Spain: Off to a perfect start by winning the lone Twenty20 game of the tour, a second-string India will have to shift gears quickly and now brace up for an ODI battle against the depleted West Indies in a five-match series starting on Monday.
India are without the services of Sachin Tendulkar, regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who have all been rested, in addition to the ill Yuvraj Singh, and the injured duo of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
But led by Suresh Raina, the Indians have made a confident start to the tour by easing past the hosts by 16 runs in the lone Twenty20 match yesterday.
Raina, who claims to have learnt a lot about captaincy from Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Dhoni, marshalled the young side well and they hardly showed any nerves while outplaying the Caribbeans desperately missing a certain Chris Gayle.
The man who set the IPL alight with his lusty hitting is a pariah in West Indies cricket right now due to his outbursts against the Board, reduced to a mere spectator at least for the first two ODIs.
Gayle’s absence takes the zing out of West Indies’ already brittle batting line-up and the Indians couldn’t have asked for more.
“West Indies have players like Gayle missing,” Raina has already pointed that out.