ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Team India look to pounce on a toothless Caribbean side

Despite being a side with the likes of Chris Gayle, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder, West Indies have struggled to win a match after their first and only win of the World Cup 2019 against Pakistan

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Team India look to pounce on a toothless Caribbean side

India won the match against Afghanistan by 11 runs in a low scoring affair and picked up another two points, bringing them close to qualifying for the ICC World Cup 2019 semi-finals. On June 25, Australia won their fixture against England and became the first team to ensure a spot in the semi-finals, due to which, India were promoted to third spot on the World Cup 2019 Points Table.  

The Indian team now awaits an encounter on June 27 at Old Trafford, Manchester with an out-of-form West Indies who have just been able to win one match in the World Cup 2019, i.e. their opening match against Pakistan.   

While the Virat Kohli-led Indian team should be able to bring down a rather toothless Caribbean side, the Men in Blue can face some challenges from a team that has the likes of Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite, who can play explosive match-winning innings. Here are a few key points to keep in mind prior to the India-West Indies World Cup 2019 match:

The No.4 issue should be number one priority

After Dhawan had taken a hit on his left thumb while trying to play a bouncer from Australian bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile, he was replaced by wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik. DK was included in the Playing XI against New Zealand but was unable to play as the match was called off due to rains. 

After which, Vijay Shankar played the following two matches against Pakistan and Afghanistan where he was able to scalp some wickets and score some runs. However, Shankar was unable to anchor the innings while batting against arch-rivals Pakistan and underdogs Afghanistan. This has raised the age-long debacle of No.4 batsman for the Indian team.     

That's where Karthik comes into the picture. Shankar is a 28-year-old all-rounder who lacks experience playing in the English conditions and also isn't a regular bowler for captain Kohli. On the other hand, Dinesh Karthik is one of India's most experienced players in the squad.

Bringing him on the field would provide India with a solution to the No.4 debacle and also provide India with an additional finisher which can be beneficial to the side in crucial matches. 

A big score due for Virat Kohli

Indian skipper Virat Kohli can be dubbed as India's Most Valuable Player (MVP) and along with being a captain, Kohli is also the foundation for the Indian batting lineup. However, he still hasn't been able to convert his great starts into a big score. For example, here are the scores from his previous World Cup 2019 matches:

  • 18 vs South Africa
  • 82 vs Australia
  • 77 vs Pakistan
  • 67 vs Afghanistan

Except for South Africa, Kohli smashed a fifty in every match but failed to convert them into a scintillating hundred. Therefore, it is vital that King Kohli looks to enter the field with an intent to score a hundred against a gullible West Indies. 

Meanwhile, India should be able to seal the Caribbean deal with ease with a strong and balanced team with only three points required to qualify in four matches. However, West Indies have been quite an unpredictable side and therefore, the Men in Blue must ensure that the Jason Holder-led side doesn't play party poopers.  

What to expect

India and West Indies are sure to have at the Old Trafford, Manchester as England had taken Afghanistan bowlers to the cleaners after Eoin Morgan smashed a 148-run knock in just 71 balls. As for the rain, according to the predictions,  there is a 10 per cent chance of rain and other than that, the venue will have clear skies.

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