After posting three huge wins on the trot, the Indian cricket team will be eyeing a double dhamaka on Friday when they take on West Indies in their Pool B encounter at WACA, Perth. Winning the match on Friday will not only allow the Indian team to celebrate Holi happily but also will seal them a spot in the quarter-finals. On the other hand, the West Indian team has won 2 matches out of the 4 they played till now and will look for a win against the Pool B toppers in order to make their quarter-final prospects look brighter.
Weather Report: The weather forecast for Perth on Friday looks like a typical West Australian sunny day with the temperature likely to go till 33 degree celcius.
Pitch Report: WACA is always known to have a lot of pace and bounce and is considered as the fastest wicket in the World. So the team winning the toss will look to field first and chase down a total.
Time: 1430 local time, 1200 IST
Previous World Cup encounters:
1979, Birmingham– West Indies won by 9 wickets.
1983, Manchester– India won by 34 runs.
1983, Oval– West Indies won by 66 runs.
1983, Lords– India won by 43 runs (Finals).
1992, Wellington- West Indies won by 5 wickets.
1996, Gwalior– India won by 5 wickets.
2011, Chennai- India won by 80 runs.
Virat Kohli had a vigorous training session at the WACA
India are riding high on confidence after they demolished Pakistan, South Africa and UAE in their first three matches of the World Cup after some mediocre performances in the Carlton-Mid ODI tri-series that concluded last month. The batsmen are in rich vein of form as there going through a purple patch in the ongoing World Cup. Shikhar Dhawan, whose form was the concern before the start of the World Cup has been the leading run-scorer for India in the World Cup and is followed by Virat Kohli. Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina too contributed towards the team’s cause. Not only the batting, but also India’s bowling is coming to the party when it was needed the most. Mohammad Shami has led the Indian bowling from the front as he picked wickets in the regular intervals. He was backed well by Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma along with spin twins R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Ashwin has 9 wickets in the tournament and has troubled the batsmen throughout the tournament. Shami missed the UAE game as a precaution and is all set to come back for the match against West Indies. India’s only worry is their batting in the death overs as India has lost its way n the last few overs against Pakistan and South Africa. The team management will look to fix it before the knockouts.
All eyes will be on Chris Gayle ahead of the match against India
The West Indies has had a mixed World Cup so far as they began the tournament with a loss against Ireland followed by two huge wins against Pakistan and Zimbabwe before getting trashed by South Africa. West Indies are in the third spot of the Pool B table with 4 points from as many matches with better Net-Run Rate as Ireland and Pakistan. Like former skipper Darren Sammy said ahead of the match, the West Indies will look to win the match while India will celebrate Holi. They will be banking on the Jamaican duo of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels to provide some resistance with the bat. Gayle and Samuels are in fine form as they are fresh from a World Record 372 runs partnership against Zimbabwe a week ago. Denesh Ramdin and Lendl Simmons are consistent in their approaches while the All-Round duo of Darren Sammy and Andre Russell are proving the Caribbean men with some big hitting towards the end. Their only concern is the form of their opener Dwayne Smith, who is struggling to score runs. Their bowling is fresh from a hammering courtesy AB de Villiers and co. and will look to regroup and put up a good show against the defending Champions at WACA. A win for the Windies will take them closer to a spot in the last 8.
Battle to watch out for:
Chris Gayle might be an unstoppable force if he gets going. India will be happy if they manage to see the back of Gayle as early as possible. It won’t be a surprise if MS Dhoni opens the bowling with R Ashwin to trouble Gayle as he had done in the past. Gayle is known to struggle against the off-spinners and Ashwin, in particular has got the better of the big hitting Jamaican in the IPL. The skipper will bank on Ashwin to halt the Gayle Storm before the damage is done. R Ashwin vs Chris Gayle will be the battle to watch out for in the match between India and West Indies ta Perth.
R Ashwn vs Chris Gayle will be an interesting battle to watch out for
Mohammad Shami is fit and raring to go. So, most likely, it will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar who will make way for Shami in the playing XI. Apart from that, India might not make any other changes since skipper MS Dhoni is not a fan of rotating his squad and disturb the winning momentum.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma.
The form of Dwayne Smith has been a worry for West Indies. There are chances that Smith might make way for Darren Bravo’s replacement Johnson Charles in the playing XI. WACA is known to be the fastest pitch on earth and skipper Jason Holder will be mulling to go in with a three prone pace attack along with Sammy and Russell. If needed, Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels will bowl their off-spinners.
Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jonathan Carter, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Jerome Taylor, Jason Holder and Kemar Roach.