ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: India vs West Indies - Preview
The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison. More of it points towards India, the team working in unison to defend the title they won in 2011. There has been collective effort where every individual has contributed towards wins against Pakistan and South Africa. It was expected that the minnows had to be pummeled by the world champs, it did happen.
West Indies, looks like the side that switches on and off frequently. A poor start for the calypso kings, defeat at the hands of fast emerging Irish men. Couple of brilliant wins against the mercurial Pak and the Zimbabweans, who didn't know how to handle the burly Jamaican who went berserk midway through the innings.
Then South Africa happened, whose pride was dented and they avenged the huge loss against India with a massive victory against West Indies. They were like Zimbabwe who didn't know how to stop AB De Villiers.
Indians have set the stage on fire. Not even a diehard fan, would have given a chance for India to register such convincing victory. The bowlers have performed way over the expectations and have been brilliant until now.
It has to be seen how they will fare against the likes of Gayle, Samuels & Co. Every batsman has been amongst runs except for MS and Jadeja, not a grave concern though as their job is to apply the finishing touches and flourish in the death overs.
West Indies have hit the crests and troughs in a non-periodic manner. They began in the worst possible manner with a defeat against Ireland after putting 300 runs on board. They thrashed Zimbabwe and Pakistan alike.
They encountered South Africa only to be humiliated with the skipper leaking away 94 runs in his quota of finals 5 overs out of which 64 runs were amassed by AB De Villiers in two overs. The score board pressure didn't help their cause while chasing and they succumbed to Proteas.
The Journey so far
India have had one of the best possible starts to the tournament along with the co-hosts New Zealand. Victories by huge margins against mighty Proteas, Pakistan and UAE has almost ensured a qualifying berth with only Ireland, Zimbabwe and West Indies to be faced.
The margin of victories and the way the bowlers have bowled have made them one of the favorites to defend their title. Mohammed Shami's injury was a blessing in disguise and Bhuvneshwar Kumar got a chance to impress his skipper after a forgettable tour down under thus far.
They are yet to be tested with their ability to bowl in the death overs. The quicker they get tested the better it will be, as it will give a better reality check of where the bowlers stand leading up to the knock out stage where the opponent's standards only grows manifolds. Lack of mind-blowing finishes to the innings is something that has to be looked into by the skipper himself and the team management. They will have to make up with runs galore if they stutter in the beginning.
West Indies had hit the rock bottom when they began and bailed themselves out with some terrific performances only to hit the new lows yet again. With four games completed they stand at the third place on par in points with Ireland (played three games) and Pakistan. The game against the Indians becomes very important as a loss here could well see them knocked out of the tournament.
They can heave a huge a sigh of relief as the batsman have hit the purple patch at the right time. Bowling has been impressive in patches all though the pitch at WACA could be very helpful for the tall bowlers of Caribbean Isles. A loss here could well be curtains to their world cup sojourn barring miracles.
Preparation and the team news
The men in blue who are without head coach Duncan have sweated it out at the Murdoch ground. They have tried to iron out whatever flaws that have crept up in between after a couple of days of rest.
Fitness has been a concern for Christopher Gayle as age is catching up with him. But the news is that the Jamaican marauder will not be missing from action come Friday. They will be more worried about the death bowling which was badly exposed by the De Villiers & Russouw pair.
The bounce and pace on offer at the WACA will keep them on their toes to take their performances to the next level. The presence of the legends will certainly help their cause to upset the rhythm of the Indians and help themselves to remain with a chance to make it to the top four of Pool B.
The batsman have enjoyed playing against the West Indian bowling line up off late. Bowlers have enjoyed considerable success in the world cup to keep them interested with yet another bowling show piece.
The success Ashwin has had at this venue makes him dangerous against West Indies, the resurgence of Shikhar Dhawan, the success of Kohli against West Indies and the opportunity to make it count for Rohit will make the task that much harder for West Indians.
MS has been very proactive, attacking and astute as a skipper with his on-field decisions which has been very vital for the success.
With the abundance of individual talent they possess, they could have been world beaters if the discipline was there in all departments. They boast of a variety of talents ranging from the deadly Gayle to flamboyant Samuels, Charismatic Sammy to mind blowing Russell.
Spin might be the only area of concern in other wise good team. How well Gayle fares will decide how much easier it can get to notch a win as well as how they bat out Ashwin. Jerome Taylor has been brilliant in patches and so is the skipper Jason Holder.
Rohit Sharma and Kohli boast of a mind blowing average against the West Indians with an average of 54.86 and 58.42 respectively. Dhawan and Raina have been equally impressive against the calypso kings. Russell and Samuels average more against the men in blue than Gayle who comes a close third. They average 35.88, 34.54 and 33.88 respectively.
India : Rohit, Kohli, Ashwin
West Indies : Gayle, Samuels, Russell
Crucial juncture in the match
It's the toss that will decide which way the match would sway. If the Indians can rattle the top 3 of the Windies batting line-up, they will gift themselves with a chance to book a qualifying berth. The Windies bowlers should keep it tight and break partnerships at regular intervals to stem the run flow.
It’s more than pride at stake for the Men in maroon as they have a lot to lose when compared to the Indians. Its another oppurtunity for Indians to lay down their supremacy and prove to the critics that they are on track to defend their title.