ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: India eye an easy win against Sri Lanka before the semi-final

Team India have qualified for the Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final. However, in order to bag the first spot on the points table, India will look to win against Sri Lanka and hope that Australia lose to South Africa

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: India eye an easy win against Sri Lanka before the semi-final

After a sensational bowling performance from pacer Jasprit Bumrah and a match-winning century by opener Rohit Sharma, India qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final as they beat Bangladesh by 28 runs. India bested Bangladesh despite a valiant effort from the Asian rival to chase the 315-run target where they were bowled out for 286 runs by the Indian bowling line-up.

Just prior to their third consecutive Cricket World Cup semi-final, the Men in Blue are up for their last World Cup 2019 league fixture against Sri Lanka at Headingley Carnegie, Leeds on July 6, Saturday. In order to bag the first spot on the points table, India will look to win the match and hope that Australia lose against South Africa.

Accordingly, as Team India eye an easy win over 2011 Cricket World Cup finalists Sri Lanka, here are a few factors to look out for:

Shami's death bowling

India's bowling attack has been one of the crucial factors for their exceptional performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Mohammed Shami have proved to be lethal for the nine opponents and provided India with an upper hand against them, thus assisting the team in getting closer to winning the prized tournament. 

After Bhuvneshwar Kumar was forced to sit out due to injury, Mohammed Shami was brought in the team as a replacement and as a result, he has picked up 14 wickets from just four games. This includes a hat-trick against Afghanistan, a four-wicket haul against West Indies and a five-fer against England. 

However, Shami's bowling during death overs has been a pressing concern for India since he has proved to be expensive in the four matches he has played. Therefore, in order to avoid exposing the team to a bigger dilemma in the semi finals, Shami must work upon the flaw in the match against Sri Lanka. 

Beware of Lasith Malinga

Sri Lankan bowling legend Lasith Malinga might be playing his last Cricket World Cup and it is possible this might be his last One Day International (ODI) appearance. However, the bowler hasn't slowed down or shown any signs of decline in talent as he has picked 12 wickets for his team so far in the tournament.  

The right-arm pacer also became the joint third-highest wicket-taker in World Cups with 55 wickets. He equalled the record with Pakistani pacer Wasim Akram and is just behind his former teammate Muttiah Muralitharan (68 wickets) and Australian legend Glenn McGrath (71 wickets).

According to the forecast, the conditions at Headingley Carnegie, Leeds are predicted to be overcast. Therefore, despite being a batsman-friendly track, the conditions might work in the bowlers' favour in the initial overs and assist them in bagging wickets. With his experience and ability to adapt, Malinga might prove lethal for Indian batsmen and thus, the Indian players need to take their time while facing the Sri Lanka legend.

Resting Jasprit Bumrah

Indian pace attack has been led by the young right-arm bowler, Jasprit Bumrah who has been wreaked havoc for the rival teams and has run through their batting line-up. However, in the last match against Bangladesh, the bowler faced a minor injury while fielding.

After which, he was escorted by the physio who treated him and later, he was seen back on the field as he took two wickets in two deliveries to win the match for India.

While his injury may not be serious, he has played all the Cricket World Cup 2019 matches without a break. Since Bumrah is India's leading bowler, it is vital that prior to a semi-final match, he should be rested and instead, Ravindra Jadeja should play against Sri Lanka. Jadeja's experience and skill to be an economical bowler might benefit India. 

What To Expect?

With Rohit Sharma in his foremost form, India will look to win the toss and score a pile of runs at the batsman-friendly Headingley Carnegie, Leeds. The weather conditions are predicted to be overcast but the rains shouldn't hassle the fixture and fans might get an uninterrupted match.

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