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Indians aim cleansweep, Windies to play for pride

08:48 AM Jun 02, 2019 |

ASHISH SHUKLA

Antigua An unbeatable 3- 0 lead in hand, India would now aim for a cleansweep while trying out new players when they take on a demoralised West Indies in the inconsequential fourth game of their five- match One- Day International series, here today.

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Led by Suresh Raina, the second- string Indian team has given a good account of itself dominating the struggling Caribbean side, which has been weakened further by the absence of big- hitting Chris Gayle and reliable performers such as Dwayne Bravo, reports PTI. In fact, the series has done a world of good to young Indian players such as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Raina himself. Right- handed batsman Manoj Tiwary might get a look in after Raina hinted that reserve players are likely to be fielded for the remaining two matches.

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But bowling would certainly be an area of concern for the Indians. Without the ever- reliable Zaheer Khan, who wonalt146t be available even for the Test series due to injury, the pacers led by Munaf Patel have struggled as was evident from the way West Indian number nine Andre Russell took them to the cleaners on Saturday.

In contrast, the spinners

— Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra — have exploited the conditions to their advantage.

The duo have more than made up the struggle by the pacers and either of the two might be rested to make way for promising off- spinner R Ashwin in the dead rubbers.

For the West Indies, it is about regaining the pride, which lies in tatters after three demoralising losses.

Captain Darren Sammy has struggled to explain just why his players are finding it tough in home conditions against an opposition which is without its top stars.

What is heartening for the West Indies is the inspiring knock by Russell.

A hurricane unbeaten 92 by a number nine batsman is just the kind of inspiration the host batsmen need to strike it big in the remaining two matches and make the final scoreline more respectable.

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