India are still unbeaten in the ICC World Cup 2019, although they came very close to losing to Afghanistan. They are at third position on the points table with four wins out of five matches, one match being washed out due to rain.
The next task in front of the Indian team is West Indies, who narrowly lost to New Zealand despite the unforgettable century by Carlos Brathwaite. The match between India and West Indies will be played on June 27 at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.
If India win this match, they will confirm their progress to the semifinal stage. On the other hand, West Indies are nearly out of the tournament after their loss to New Zealand. One more defeat will confirm the exit of the Caribbean side, and even if they win all their three remaining matches they need a lot of other results to go their way to have any chance of finishing in the top four.
To make matters worse, their match-winner Andre Russell has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament due to injury.
The toss will play an important role in this match. Both the teams will want to bat first and put up a big total for the opponents to chase.
The Indian batsmen struggled in the previous game, but they are very skillful; it is unlikely for the same story to be repeated against West Indies. The likes of Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli can dismantle any bowling lineup in the world. The middle order, however, remains a concern.
Kedar Jadhav scored a half-century in the last match but the partnership between him and MS Dhoni was very slow. Jadhav and Dhoni built pressure on a big hitter like Hardik Pandya, and Vijay Shankar couldn't contribute significantly either. That said, everyone knows the capabilities of Dhoni and Co; all the batsmen in the middle order can regain their timing at any moment, and join Rohit and Kohli in the festivities.
The Indian bowling, meanwhile, is as efficient as ever. Jasprit Bumrah has been spearheading the attack and all the other bowlers are supporting him brilliantly. Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are all perfectly capable of taking wickets regularly and building pressure on the West Indian side.
On the other hand, the West Indies batting is heavily dependent on Chris Gayle. Brathwaite did score a century in the last game, but he's been far from consistent - and neither have Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope.
Sheldon Cottrell bowled well in the last game but he didn't get any support from the others. There are a few too many problems in the Caribbean side right now, which is not ideal while facing a team like India.
India are clear favorites to win the match, but will West Indies give them a tough fight? Time will tell.
Also read – Highest Individual Score in World cupPublished 27 Jun 2019, 02:43 IST