ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: India vs UAE - Preview
The starting point of all achievement is desire. Nothing can succeed like success and the desire to succeed is of utmost importance. UAE making their second world cup appearance must be raring to go against the defending champions. This could be one of the most important game of the UAE player's careers. With talks of only 10 teams allowed to participate in the 2019 world cup, it's important that these associate nations perform well, to stake a claim.
This would be the third time that these two sides go against each other with India winning both the games comprehensively. If UAE can pull off a miraculous win, the magnitude of it's effect and the reach of the game will be amazing for a nation where Cricket is yet to become a profession. Ask Bangladesh, Ireland how important was the role of 2007 ICC world cup in shaping the fortunes of their cricket. Immense and Unimaginable.
The match will be held at the WACA (Western Australia Cricket Association) ground, Perth. The pitch is known for its pace and bounce, a fast bowler's paradise. In 2002, the ground was redeveloped and its capacity was reduced to make it more economical.
Features included building a new small grandstand and players' pavilion, reducing the size of the playing arena, and replacing seats with grass hills on each side and replacing all the seats with new ones. As a result, the permanent capacity of the stadium is 22,000 with the use of temporary stands used for all major events to boost it to 24,500.
The journey so far
Indians will be playing their third game in the span of 20 days against UAE, after notching up dominating victories against Pakistan and South Africa. Not many gave them a chance to defeat Proteas, but the manner in which they did so has just taken the cricketing world aback. That victory followed another impressive display against arch-rivals Pakistan. They will be trying iron out the flaws, which existed if at all during their two previous games.
The top six Indian batsman barring Rohit Sharma, have all played innings of substance in at least one of the two games. Shikar Dhawan has turned it around big time to silence his detractors and proved the faith the team management had on him.
Bowling has been the talk for they have just out bowled their opponents in both games especially the way they have bowled upfront in the power play overs. Fielding has been top notch, both within the 30 yards as well as from the boundary riders. After the South African game, there would be very few players who will test their luck against this fielding unit.
UAE, on the other hand has had a brilliant game against the Zimbabweans after they had put 285 on the board and had reduced Zimbabwe to 4-144 and were just a couple of wickets away from upsetting the Zimbabweans, before Sean Williams took the game away with a breezy knock. UAE had their moments and only themselves to blame when they fluffed with their fielding and missed out on three run outs that might have changed the result. It was almost a repeat of their game against Zimbabwe in terms of how close they were to notch up victory against the Irish men.
Once again they were very close to winning the game before Kevin O'Brien and Wilson took the game away. Blame their inability to field well and clasp on to the half chances. UAE will be playing their third game on Saturday against the sub-continent giants. Shaiman Anwar's brilliance, reliable Khurram Khan holds the forte when it comes to the batting. fielding and bowling still is huge cause for concerns. The run outs that UAE missed and the run outs that India inflicted are the biggest examples how matches can be turned around in matter of seconds.
Batsman and bowlers have hit form just when it mattered the most for the Indians after a horrendous tour down under in terms of results. Everything they have tried has come out perfectly. The swap in batting order, the field placements and more importantly the attacking instinct of their skipper combined with the bowling efforts have been fantastic thus far.
Rohit Sharma's lack of batting display is the only concern going into the game. The spin of Ashwin has been one of the main weapons in halting the opposition. Jadeja has to come good along with Rohit. This match should be wrapped up comfortably considering their form.
UAE batsmen have been competent enough considering the fact that the team doesn't have professional cricketers but cricketers who are only part timers. The lack of quality bowlers and the fielding are the dreadful concerns.
This being a perfect opportunity to rise up to the occasion and prove their mettle, should be enough of motivation to perform in front of huge crowd who mostly would be the Indian contingent. After the two losses they will be trying to salvage their lost pride. Khurram Khan will have to play a huge role if they are to succeed.
Preparation and Team news
Indians have had a couple of days of break, which is very well deserved. They will be rejuvenated and will be looking to do short work of their opposition on Saturday. There are no injury concerns and this is a perfect opportunity to test out Akshar Patel and Bhuvi's mojo, if the thought of experimentation lingers in their mind. This depends on how the management approaches the game against UAE.
After having lost both games there might be some chopping and changing to boost the squad. The average age of this team is approximately 34 years, which is why it’s not easy to field in large outfields in Australia along with hot and humid conditions posing bigger challenge. They will be desperate to put up a good show and earn reputation of being a fighting side rather than push overs.
Shaiman Anwar has had a huge impact in this World cup and is easily their best bet going into the India game to shoulder the batting burden. A half century and a century against his name should boost his confidence immensely. Khurram Khan has to take up more responsibility and ensure that he holds one end. Mohammed Tauqir and Amjad Javed have to deliver the goods with the ball.
The batsman and bowlers alike have done brilliantly thus far. Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja have ideal opportunity to make up for the lost chances and keep their spot in the playing XI intact. Shikar Dhawan has been in tremendous form and would love to continue doing so. Mohit, Umesh and Shami have done brilliantly with the ball and Ashwin has certainly been the trump card in middle overs.
India: Shikar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Umesh Yadav
UAE: Shaiman Anwar, Mohammed Tauqir, Javed
The first hour of the game would be crucial. The pitch would be fresh as this is the first game of the world cup at this venue. The pace, bounce and accuracy will play a huge role in containing the opposition irrespective of who bowls first. The lesser wickets lost, the better it will be for the teams to build momentum going late into the innings.
For UAE though, the major concern will be how well they field. The fielding has let them down big time. They have to be disciplined with their bowling as well as batting. They would be hoping to get third time lucky after close defeats against Zimbabwe and Ireland who are relatively weaker than the mighty Indians.
This certainly is a huge opportunity for UAE to stamp their authority at the international level. It will be a cakewalk for the Indians though, even if they play close to 70% of their ability. It all comes down to how much motivated UAE are to show their class as the billions all over the world will have their eyes set on this game.