India is looking down the barrel with two losses in as many matches and faces a must-win situation against the West Indies at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on Friday. West Indies, on the other hand, is sitting comfortably at the top of points table with two wins from two matches and looks favourites to make it to the finals.
Struggling India needs win against Windies to stay afloat
Indian batsmen will have pull up their shocks and come out all guns blazing against the West Indian bowlers, while Indian bowlers and fielders will have put up a much-improved performance on the field to keep alive their hopes of making it to the final. There will be some fierce battle fought with bat and ball between players of two teams. DC Online takes a look at them:
Shikhar Dhawan vs Kemar Roach: With Ravi Rampaul out of the tournament with an injury, the onus is on Kemar Roach to give Windies the early breakthrough and get the momentum in team’s favour. Roach was impressive in the last match against India, taking two wickets for 44 runs. He dismissed the dangerous Dhawan for 11. He will be keen to repeat his heroics and dismiss Dhawan out cheaply again. Also, not to forget, Roach’s crucial 14 runs helped Windies to register a one-wicket win over India.
Shikhar Dhawan is coming on the back of an impressive tournament in the Champions Trophy. He was the man of the tournament, notching up two centuries. However, he has failed to light up the tri-series, being out cheaply in the both the matches. Dhawan, who has hardly tasted much failure in his brief career, will like to make amends and come up with a big knock this time against the Windies. He will also like to take his revenge against Roach, who dismissed him cheaply in the last match.
Virat Kohli Vs Darren Sammy: Virat Kohli is a class batsman who takes great pride in performing for India. He’s the captain of the team now and he will be more than determined to lead India from the front. He will like to target Darren Sammy, former ODI captain and most experienced bowler in the Windies line-up, who had dismissed him in the last match. Kohli will like to make amends and come up with a big knock this time.
Sammy has been one of the most under-rated bowlers in West Indies cricket, but he continues to shine for his team. He took two wickets in the match against India and bowled superbly against Sri Lankan, conceding only 34 runs in his 10 overs. If the opening bowling pair of Roach and Best fail to make any impact on the Indian top-order batsmen, then Sammy will be given the ball to get the team back into the game and the experienced pacer will be more than happy to do so.
Ravindra Jadeja vs Sunil Narine: Ravindra Jadeja is turning out to be India’s trump card who’s revelling in his role as an all-rounder. He stood tall among the ruins against Sri Lanka, scoring 49 unbeaten runs. His bowling too has been extra-ordinary as he not only restricted the opposition batsmen but also fooled them with his variations.
This time India needs his services badly as a batsmen as in the absence of Dhoni, the batting line-up looks shaky and vulnerable. Jadeja will up against another West Indian spinner Sunil Narine who knows the importance of his wicket. Narine will try to outsmart Jadeja with his variations. It will be interesting to see how Jadeja tackles Narine’s top-spinners and blunt the spinner with his batting so that other batsmen can breathe easy.
Chris Gayle vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Chris Gayle has struck a century in the series and he looks dangerous for more. Just the presence of Gayle makes West Indies a formidable team and on Gayle’s day, nothing can stop him from blasting the opposition out of the game. Also, being a 50 overs game, Gayle will take his time to settle, which means longer the Gayle stays, more the trouble for the opposition team.
Gayle would like to have a go at India’s opening bowlers, especially Bhuvneshwar Kumar to demoralise India’s bowling and fielding attack early on for other batsmen to cash in. Gayle knows the importance of hitting the team hard where it hurts the most. Bhuvi has been exceptional for India in the limited opportunities he has received. India would bank on Bhuvi to stop Gayle from getting into top gear, or else India can kiss its chances in the tri-series a goodbye.
Johnson Charles vs Umesh Yadav: Johnson Charles had the measure of Indian bowling attack during his superb knock of 97 runs in the first match. He would like to provide the perfect support to Gayle and pile on misery for India. Even if Gayle fails like in the last match against India, Charles can chose to play anchor and take the team to safety. Charles could well prove to be the nagging pain for India.
However, it will be interesting to see how he tackles Umesh Yadav, who dismissed him last time. Yadav took three wickets for 43 runs. Yadav makes a formidable opening bowler as his pace and aggressive style of bowling can be intimidating for the opposition batsmen. However, Yadav has to be consistent with his line and length in order to be more effecting. The first 15 overs will decide the course of the match when the high-flying West Indies opening batsmen will be pitted against India’s opening new ball bowlers.
Kieron Pollard Vs Ravindra Jadeja: Kieron Pollard likes to feast on spinners and count on him to provide the impetus to Windies innings. Pollard has time and again proved to be one of the best finishers of the game. He usually arrives at the crease when spinners are bowling in tandem. He will be tasked to make the Indian spinners ineffective and spoil the party for them.
Pollard would like to target Jadeja, who has in recent matches proved to be India’s trump card with his sharp line and length bowling. Jadeja will eyeing to bowl against one of the best power hitters of the game. Jadeja, however, will have to do his homework before he comes to bowl against the big giant, Pollard, as the West Indian can take his bowling apart in a matter of minutes.