India will look to continue their unbeaten streak when they face a badly struggling West Indies in match number 34 of World Cup 2019 at Old Trafford in Manchester. While another win will all but seal India's semi-final spot a loss for West Indies will effectively end any minor hopes they have of progressing.
Having narrowly escaped embarrassment against Afghanistan, India will be keen to put up a professional show against the Caribbeans. Their batting was found out on a tough surface, which aided spin, and the first time that Rohit Sharma failed this World Cup, India crumbled, which is not a good sign for the upcoming games. Virat Kohli has done very well with three fifties. But, without sounding harsh, hundreds are what is expected of him.
India would hope the middle-order is tested again ahead of the remaining games. Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, and Kedar Jadhav haven't quite been able to accelerate when Hardik Pandya has fallen early. In the bowling, hat-trick man Mohammed Shami is likely to get another opportunity as Bhuvneshwar Kumar is still recovering from injury. The rest of the bowling pretty much picks itself with Jasprit Bumrah, the two spinners and the all-rounders for support.
West Indies go into the match knowing very well that they missed a great opportunity to overcome New Zealand. Carlos Brathwaite took the team to the doorsteps of victory with a sensational rearguard hundred only to give it away at the end. The news of Chris Gayle's retirement has just come in today. He returned to form with a typically belligerent inning in the last game and would hope to continue the good run.
West Indies' bowlers will need to raise their game against a strong Indian batting line-up. Sheldon Cottrell was absolutely brilliant at the start against New Zealand and finished with impressive figures of 4 for 56. However, the rest, including Shannon Gabriel and skipper Jason Holder himself will have to better their performance. Oshane Thomas to needs to find back his rhythm, which has gone awry after a good start.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav
West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach, Darren Bravo, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shannon Gabriel, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Shimron Hetmyer, Fabian Allen, Oshane Thomas, Nicholas Pooran
--By A Cricket Correspondent