After escaping with a narrow win against the spirited Afghanistan side, Team India will be looking to get back into the groove by putting on a professional performance against West Indies. India will square off against the Caribbean side at the Old Trafford in Manchester on 27th June, in match 34 of the ICC World Cup 2019.
India are currently at the third position in the points table whereas West Indies are placed 8th.
West Indies will have to play the remainder of the tournament without the services of their star all-rounder, Andre Russell. Russell's absence will likely hurt the West Indies team's progress during the slog overs. But with or without Russell, they will have to defeat India on Thursday in order to keep their slim semi-final hopes alive.
India on the other hand are still undefeated in the tournament and have almost sealed a semi-final spot. They will still have 3 games left to play after this encounter.
The venue for the game is conducive to batting as 291, 397 and 336 runs have been scored in the last 3 matches during the first innings. So we can expect another high-scoring match this Thursday.
Even though India's batting department disappointed against Afghanistan, the bowlers held their own and produced a collective performance to hand a hard-earned victory. Mohammad Shami, who replaced the injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the clash, picked up a hat-trick in the last over. Jasprit Bumrah was his usual self and put on another match-winning performance. The wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal along with Hardik Pandya also played their parts well to round off a cumulative effort.
In the batting though, everyone barring Virat Kolhi struggled to score runs freely. MS Dhoni even faced criticism from retired cricketers due to his slow-paced innings. Kedar Jadhav scored a fighting half-century but he could not accelerate the innings the way the team management would have liked.
India did not get a good start in the last match as Rohit Sharma was dismissed early in the innings. Rohit will look to get back among the runs in the upcoming clash, and set a solid platform for the Indian middle order.
India might be tempted to replace Vijay Shankar with Rishabh Pant in the middle order. Shankar has played in the last two matches but hasn't done enough to cement his place in the playing XI. He didn't bowl even a single over during the last match.
So if the team management does not consider him as a bowling option, then they should pick a better batsman like Dinesh Karthik or Pant in his place. The inclusion of the attacking Pant will definitely add some variety to the batting line-up. But India might require the services of the sixth bowler during the upcoming clashes against teams like England, so they might stick with Shankar for now.
Thus, India will in all likelihood play with the same XI during the upcoming clash as there is no pressing need to change the current winning combination.
India's ideal XI
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Also read – Cricket World cup winnersPublished 26 Jun 2019, 01:37 IST