India will be playing against West Indies at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester on Thursday. The Men in Blue will be looking to certain a berth in the final 4 by winning this match, whereas the Windies will be playing for their lost glory.
Stats say that West Indies had last beaten India in the 1992 edition of the quadrennial event.
Notably, India are the only team left in the tournament with the “unbeaten” tag. The Men in Blue almost lost their previous match against Afghanistan but the bowling duo of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah staved off Mohammad Nabi’s pyrotechnics and revived the Indian fuel tank to make sure that India carry their momentum further.
Windies, too, came out of the box in their previous game to challenge the then invincible Kiwis but to their poor luck, Carlos Brathwaite — their saviour — failed an inch short from taking his side home in a 5-run thriller.
With 9 points (4 wins and a rain-washed match) from 5 matches, India are at the 3rd spot in the points table. West Indies, on the other hand, have 3 points from 6 matches and are at the 8th spot.
There is unlikely to be any change in Team India as their journey so far has been good if not great. Though it has been a roller-coaster ride for them, the Blues have managed to end up on the winning side so far. But the way India’s middle order failed in the last game, has actually been a concern for them even before the World Cup, especially the no. 4 position. And with MS Dhoni trudging at the middle makes things tougher for India.
For India, ‘Hitman’ Rohit Sharma will be a key player as he has scored 320 runs in four innings in the World Cup at an average of 106.67, including two match-winning centuries. Apart from Sharma, eyes will be on India skipper Virat Kohli. Though the run-machine has scored only 244 runs in four innings so far, his record against the Windies is staggering. The 30-year-old has scored 4 centuries in the last six matches against West Indies at an astonishing average of 188.
For the Caribbeans, Sheldon Cottrell has been exceptional with the ball, scalping 9 wickets in six matches. It will be a tough challenge for India to counter his swing-bowling in the beginning overs.
The match starts at 3 pm (IST).
India: Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (w), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rishabh Pant, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Shai Hope (w), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (c), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Evin Lewis, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Sunil Ambris, Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel