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India vs West Indies match preview

20 Mar 2011, 14:02 IST

Both the teams have reached to the knock out stage but its the position to which they have to battle it out .India had a mixed tournament so far there bowling has been there weak link while West Indies have shown that are coming back to the stage where they ruled.They have played very good in this world cup so far and have looked a balanced unit.

The guessing is almost over, but still not quite. At the conclusion of the final match of the league phase, when India and West Indies shake hands, we’ll know the exact quarter-final matches for the World Cup 2011. However, the uncertainty over which teams would make it to the knock-out stage has been eliminated. Fittingly enough, the top 8 teams are going through. The fact that India and West Indies have both qualified for the quarter-finals does not make their match any less important though. For a start, no team likes to lose, and more importantly no team would like to enter a knock-out stage of a World Cup on the back of a loss. Moreover, both sides do not have a win against any of the top nations, with only victories against minnows, and they need the feel-good factor that a top level win will bring.

The main talking point from the Indian camp is the likely unavailability of Virender Sehwag, who has picked up a knee injury. Even if Sehwag were to recover, it is very likely that the team management will rest him so that the injury does not aggravate and he is ready for the quarter-finals. In that case, Suresh Raina will come into the side while Gautam Gambhir will open with Sachin Tendulkar. Given that Sehwag will be an automatic entry if fit, if India lose 5 wickets or more, this match could well decide whether Raina can cement his place in the team for the next few matches ahead of Yusuf Pathan or even perhaps Virat Kohli. The bowling line-up is sure to see some changes too, with R Ashwin making his World Cup debut. The man most likely to miss out will be Ashish Nehra, who has been off the boil for a while now. England showed that a two off-spinner attack against the West Indies (who are packed with left-handers) worked superbly, and India will be hoping for the same with Harbhajan and Ashwin.

Leaving Shivnarine Chanderpaul was a brave move on paper, but it did backfire on West Indies when they missed one batsman who would take the responsibility and anchor the chase on a difficult track. Do they bring him back? If they do, that will mean dropping either one of the specialist batsmen or one out of Andre Russell and Devendra Bishoo, both of whom had a superb game against England. Right now, Ramnaresh Sarwan seems to be the most disposable member of the XI that lost to England.

Quarter-final Scenarios: The scenarios now are fairly simple. If India beat West Indies, the order of the teams in Group B will be: South Africa, India, England, West Indies. Which would make for the following quarter-final matches: Pakistan vs West Indies, Sri Lanka vs England, Australia vs India and New Zealand vs South Africa.

If West Indies beat India, the Group B order will be: South Africa, West Indies, India, England. This would make for the following quarter-finals: Pakistan vs England, Sri Lanka vs India, Australia vs West Indies, New Zealand vs South Africa.

If the match ends in a tie/no result, the Group B standings will be: South Africa, India, West Indies, England. The quarter-finals would then look like this: Pakistan vs England, Sri Lanka vs West Indies, Australia vs India, New Zealand vs South Africa.

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