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World Cup Preview: India vs West Indies

Finally. The last match of the awesomeness that was Group B.


Drama, injury, close games, tears, backstabbing, wardrobe malfunctions, weave-pulls, wine chucked in faces, and superb dance moves. But enough about England, this is India v West Indies.


The Captains: Sammy and Dhoni

This game will be pretty much a dead rubber if Bangladesh doesn’t beat South Africa, because India is already through and it would take a very large defeat for the West Indies‘ NRR to fall below Bangladesh. So here’s hoping the Banglas win, to ensure that the Windies have something riding on that last game. It will also mean that my pre-WC prediction, that the Banglas qualify ahead of the Windies, has come true. That looks as likely as… something highly unlikely.


Expert analysis aside, India hasn’t beaten a Test side in the World Cup yet, apart from Bangladesh. This could and should be an easy win – if James Tredwell and Ravi Bopara can choke the Windies, just think of what Harbhajan and Ashwin could do! No seriously, I’m backing Harbhajan in this game to the extent of picking him in my Fantasy team with my one remaining transfer, and I intend to make him the captain too. As far as Ashwin goes, he could be as hittable as Chawla. Everyone wants him to play just because he hasn’t played and got thrashed yet, unlike the others. The cloak of mystery is probably why he should play. Proof - Imran TahirJames TredwellDevendra BishooAjit Agarkar (find the odd one out). He still has to bowl well, though. Crap on a stick won’t get you wickets.


The game is being played in Chennai (another sign for Ashwin), a very good place for Sachin and spinners. It is going to be a fresh pitch apparently, so it could be another high-scoring game. It will be anyway if India bats first, but Gayle looked in a particularly rapish mood against England, so expect a close, exciting contest for about 15 overs. Brian Bravo has been underwhelming so far, as has the rest of the order – a good score will depend entirely on Pollard, IPL teammate of Harby and (formerly) Zaheer.


My picks for the game:  Harbhajan, Sachin, Ashwin, Yuvraj, Gayle, Bravo, Benn.


Ideal line-ups:


India: Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni (c)(wk), Harbhajan, Ashwin, Chawla, Zaheer, Nehra.


West Indies: Gayle, Chanderpaul, Bravo, Sarwan, Pollard, Sammy (c), Thomas (wk), Russell, Benn, Bishoo, Roach.


Official-looking prediction: India to win with ease. High-scoring game. There will be 4 celebrities in the crowd.

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