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Lara, Chanderpaul return tilts scales in favour of Windies

Written by: Staff
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Ahmedabad, Oct 25 (UNI) The West Indies fresh from their win over Australia in Mumbai in their first match of Group 'A' received a timely and major boost when injured captain and charismatic batsman Brian Lara reported for practice today at the Sardar Patel stadium, Motera here ahead of tomorrow's clash with hosts India.

West Indies which is on the upswing since last March will be going into this match with confidence knowing they have had the better of India in the last few meetings having won 6 of their last eight matches aganst Rahul Dravid's men.

The Trinidadian, battling a lower back strain, had not practised since his team's 10-run victory over Australia on October 18, in which he did not take the field.

''He is still receiving medical treatment. I don't know how he is feeling. But we think he will be fit for the match,'' West Indies media manager Imran Khan said after his side's practice session at the stadium.

The return of Lara from injury as well as that of Shivnarine Chanderpaul has titled the scales a bit in favour of West Indies.

The match which sees both India and West Indies on one win from one match is of crucial as the winners will virtually book their semi-final berth.

West Indies also have an added advantage as they play England last, which has lost both their past two matches and do not look in any frame of mind to mount a challenge with four of their top players missing, while India if they lose will take on World champions Australia in their last match which would be a must win situation for the Indians.

India even though they won their last match against ENgland with enough to spare, still need to fire in batting as they lost six wickets while chasing a small total of 125.

Virender Sehwag, Mohd. Kaif and Dravid himself has been going through poor form and India would require these players to fire if they want to have a chance against the West Indies bowling attack which has become stronger and more incisive with Jerome Taylor and Ian Bradshaw having the pace and movement.

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