PREVIEW: WORLD CUP T20: INDIA V/S WEST-INDIES Live Streaming: The second semifinal of another ICC cricket extravaganza starts tonight when the specialists of T20- the West-Indies take on the home side India at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The game will be telecasted in India on Star Sports 2&3 and Star Sports HD2 & HD3. The first ball will be bowled at 6:50pm.
They were the leaders of their group by some noteworthy individual as well as all-round team performance. Though, they did lose a match against a lowly minnows of Afghanistan who finally came out as winners after teasing but failing to gather wins all through the tournament. The West Indies are still pretty clinical in what they do.
With an opening pair consisting of the biggest power hitter of the game Chris Gayle, and the middle order clicking together and knitting up performances with heavy duty all-rounder sloggers like Bravo and Russell making up the core of the team. The mighty Indies are the dark horses coming into the semi-final. With the pitches suitable for slow bowlers, Badree is a vital cog of spin arsenal of the team. Yes, they are the underdogs- but with recent evidence they are the one to compete with the Goliath at their home turf.
Coming into the world cup India were the title favourites, but they lose heftily against the Black caps in the first match of World T20. Since then they have come a long way by defeating Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia. In all the aforementioned wins, the batting order failed to stamp their authority; and the win was always in doubt but collected because of a man in form viz. Virat Kohli. He has been the saviour of the team for quite some time now, and the team should try to share responsibility on his shoulder and resist on being over reliant on him.
The opening pair needs to give a good base in the next matches so that the middle order could take advantage of it. On the other hand, the bowling unit have been quite impressive with Nehra being the experience cog with his swing and accuracy, whereas Bumrah has been a find for the team. Talking about the spin unit, Ravichandran Ashwin does what he does best with the ball.
With Andre Fletcher injured, Lendl Simmons has been called up for his replacement. He will make his entry into the squad directly. Other than that, it is unlikely to be any unforced change in the team for the crucial semi-final.
Expected Line-up: Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Lendl Simmons, Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Dinesh Ramdin, Carlos Braithwate, Suleiman Benn, Samuel Badree.
With Yuvraj Singh out of the tournament with ankle injury, team India has called upon Manish pandey because of his power hitting prowess. With Rahane in the ranks and being an established player of T20 format, captain MS Dhoni faces a conundrum regarding the team selection today, with the legends calling for Rahane in the opening pair in place of out of form Dhawan; Manish Pandey might miss out on a world cup opportunity.
Expected Line-up: Rohit Sharma, Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra.
With the fall West-indies cricket in the longer formats; in T20 the Caribbeans is still the mighty team to beat. An opportunity to be 2-time world champions in the shortest format is enough motivation, and the tag of “underdogs” does more good than harm to the team. On the other hand, team India hasn’t been that well oiled in their recent performances though being the favorites coming into the fixture. The match is supposed to be a highly competitive one. With may be the level of fielding resulting in a win or lose for one of the teams.
PREDICTION: India Wins