New Delhi: In Match 34 of the ICC World Cup Cricket 2019, the West Indies cricket team will look to present a stiff challenge to India cricket team at Old Trafford in Manchester on Thursday.
For India, the main concern is MS Dhoni’s batting approach as he failed to accelerate against Afghanistan in their previous World Cup match. As the league phase hits the home stretch, India will look to ensure a smooth passage into the semi-finals with yet another victory. But it could be easier said than done against a West Indies side that might play party poopers with nothing to lose in their remaining few games.
In fact, West Indies’ unpredictability and the former India captain’s repeated failure during the important second Powerplay overs leaves skipper Virat Kohli with a few points to ponder.
Team India woes
Dhoni’s painfully slow approach against Afghanistan yielded 28 off 52 balls and he was roundly criticised. Even the normally restrained Sachin Tendulkar questioned the approach. “There was no positive intent,” the usually reticent Tendulkar’s observation on a TV channel has been spot on.
The Indian team management knows that only too well but with four group matches left, the only option they have right now is to alter Dhoni’s batting position, possibly giving a few more deliveries to Jadhav, who can be innovative in his shot selection.
Hardik Pandya is being used as a floater, but the Afghanistan match showed that if he doesn’t get support from the other end, there is too much pressure on him to hit every delivery for a six. Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri till now have not been too keen to use Rishabh Pant’s firepower. Pant can come in only if the team management considers the idea of Vijay Shankar being disposable.
Recent batting approach of Dhoni worrisome
The West Indies is a team loaded with fast bowlers so it could be a bit easier for Dhoni to rotate the strike as he hasn’t been comfortable against the slow bowlers. Afghanistan exposed it thoroughly during the last game. There have been arguments and counter-arguments about Dhoni’s batting approach in the IPL compared to his style when playing 50-over cricket for India.
Dhoni, during Chennai Super Kings various chases, would invariably target one of the inexperienced Indian domestic bowlers while playing safe cricket against the bigger international names.
Against a Kagiso Rabada or a Jofra Archer, he didn’t take any risks before hitting the others in successful run-chases. A strategy needs to be worked around Dhoni’s skill sets here too to place him at a position on which he can bat freely.
With his inputs and electric glovework behind the stumps an absolute necessity, this will require some tactical brainstorming by the captain and the coach.
West Indies’ issues
The West Indies will look to finish on a high after being knocked out despite a great start against Pakistan. Andre Russell being ruled out due to a hamstring injury has been another big blow. However, the team, especially the fast bowling department, has shown tremendous potential including the young bumper-happy fast bowling duo of Sheldon Cotterell and Oshane Thomas.
With Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma being superb horizontal bat players, it promises to be a mouth-watering contest if they employ the short-ball tactic. For the ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle, a smashing match-winning innings is due and Kohli will be praying that it doesn’t come against his team.
India vs West Indies: Player battle
Jasprit Bumrah’s opening spell against Gayle may set the tone while the talented duo of Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer will be asked a few questions by Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Against New Zealand, Carlos Brathwaite played an amazing innings and took the Windies to the brink of a miraculous victory.
However, Brathwaite has never been comfortable against the slow bowlers as he loves the length deliveries on the slot.
Playing 11 on either side
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar/Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope(w), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder(c), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrel
ICC World Cup 2019, Match 34
India vs West Indies Live streaming details
Date and Day: 27 June, Thursday.
Place: Old Trafford, Manchester
Time: 3:00 pm IST, 10:30 am local time
The World Cup 2019 India vs West Indies match live streaming will be available live on Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 with English Commentary and Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD with Hindi Commentary. The live streaming of the World Cup 2019 India vs West Indies match will be available on Hotstar.
Sirf News will live-blog the match beginning 3 PM today, as it did during the India-Afghanistan match: