Nothing is going right for the Caribbeans. After two flat wickets in Delhi (Feroz Shah Kotla) and Kolkata (Eden Gardens), they must have heaved a sigh of relief as far as the wicket of the Wankhede Stadium is concerned.
Skipper Darren Sammy during West Indies' practice session at the
Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
They must have planned to play to their strength, but bad news from the dressing room may spoil the entire show.
Their most prolific run-getter Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who has excelled on Indian soil over the years, is injured and in danger of missing the third Test. Chanderpaul had hurt his calf muscle during the Kolkata Test. His injury may not only dampen the spirit of the team, but also their batting strength in a big way.
If Chanderpaul skipping the net session is any indication, then the visitors are in for trouble. Though skipper Darren Sammy didn't rule out the possibility of him playing, it was more or less clear from his body language that they are preparing for life without the Guyanese.
"I still cannot say anything about his (Chanderpaul) condition. Being such an experienced player, he will decide tomorrow morning � his presence obviously boosts the team. We will have to wait till tomorrow morning to get a clear picture about his fitness," Sammy said at the pre-match media conference.
Now, if the 37-year-old left-hander fails to recover in time, the pressure would fall on an inexperienced batting line-up comprising Darren Bravo, Adrian Barath, Kirk Edwards and Kraigg Brathwaite.
The fact that the team has shown improvement in all departments as the tour progressed, will surely work in their favour. "We have improved with every passing day. Scoring 400 runs in the second innings at Eden Gardens was a positive for us. But our problem has been inconsistency," the West Indies skipper said.
On the brighter side, the wicket is set to suit the Caribbeans more than it did in the last two Tests. Pitch expert Sudhir Naik revealing that it will be a true track, will have doubled the enthusiasm of the visitors. It's almost certain that Sammy & Co will play three seamers with Ravi Rampaul coming in place of Kemar Roach.
The practice wicket pleased the 27-year-old captain too. "This wicket is good and I hope the wicket for the match is like this too. Seamers will get help in the beginning and later on, the spinners will also benefit. Stroke-making won't be difficult either. If our fast bowlers decide to bowl short, they can extract something from this wicket," Sammy said.