Cricket

India will benefit from West Indies tour withdrawal

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Despite the disappointment – and financial infringements – of the West Indies’ premature departure to the Caribbean last week, India are set to gain from the
rescheduling of an ODI series with Sri Lanka which will aid their preparation for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

MS Dhoni’s side will play five 50-over matches against Sri Lanka in November with the Indian captain being rested for the first three games.

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Sri Lanka will arguably provide a sterner test than the Windies and the one-day cricket-mad nation will be treated to more limited-overs action.

Controversy

A dispute over pay between the West Indies board and its players resulted in the Caribbean islanders cutting short an ongoing ODI series in India and completely foregoing a three Test matches and a one-off T20 contest.

The BCCI were very unhappy and have cancelled upcoming tours of the West Indies although none of the striking cricketers will be excluded from the next edition of the Indian
Premier League.

Sri Lanka have seemingly come to the rescue by agreeing to play a five game series at short notice. However, not all players are happy with this outcome, with Kumar Sangakkara taking to Twitter to air his grievances.

The veteran batsman tweeted: ‘Our 6 weeks of pure fitness work ends abruptly. Have a
week to do a months requirement of skill work before India. Planning ahead anyone?’

Format

Nevertheless, the series will – unless there is another shock strike – still go ahead with the fixtures providing Indian fans with one of their favourite formats of cricket.

Big crowds can be expected when the ODI series visits the cities of Cuttack, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad and plenty of practice can be gained before the World
Cup.

India have an upcoming triangular series against England and Australia down under in January but should also be grateful for the extra preparation that they are receiving for
the tournament.

Rest

And the recharging of MS Dhoni’s batteries can only have a positive effect on the long-term success of the team.

The Indian captain will be a key part of the side’s attempt to try and retain the trophy and some rest could do his game a world of good. Dhoni made one unbeaten half-century in
the three ODIs against the West Indies, but he failed to take a single catch.

Just a few games from the sideline can help him to refocus and begin mentally preparing for defending the World Cup.

India have been drawn in Pool B for the tournament, and will play group games against South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and United Arab Emirates.

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Topics:
Sri Lanka cricket
MS Dhoni
West Indies cricket
ODI World Cup
Cricket
India cricket

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