About the Match
Down and out Indian team would have a last opportunity to leave a mark in this Tri-Nation tournament. They meet the hosts on 5th July in a game they desperately need to win in order to stay alive in this tournament. Indians would be hoping that the change in venue from Sabina Park to Port of Spain brings change in their luck too. The Champions Trophy winners didn’t even close to what they looked in England. West Indies, on the other hand, won both games and would be looking to seal the final spot in this game. It is an important game between powerful Indian side and in-form Caribbean team and a thrilling contest is certainly on the cards.
It is often said that a ship without a good captain is not as good for battle; same seems to be the case with Indians. Since Dhoni’s injury, their performance has only gone downstream. It’s early days to comment on Virat Kohli’s captaincy, but looking at India’s performance in last two games, especially in bowling, Dhoni’s absence is clearly hurting them. Amongst all those failures, Indian spinners have still done relatively well. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were excellent in first game against West Indies and were not as disappointing as others in second one. Despite their recent failures, the Champions Trophy winners have excellent batting lineup and good enough bowling attack to bounce back and beat any team in the competition.
West Indies’ home campaign has been excellent so far. They just need another victory to make sure they are the one of the two teams to make it to the final. Their opening pair has done exceedingly well, not as partners, but individually. In the first game against Sri Lanka, Chris Gayle made the task easy by scoring a quick century and in the second match against India, Johnson Charles did it for them. Injury of Ravi Rampaul has given Tino Best an opportunity and he has bowled quick and seemed to trouble Indian late order batsmen. Narine did not have any impact on Indian bowlers, but surprisingly Samuels was extremely economical. The Caribbean men look in fine form and it would be tough to outscore them.
As far as recent record between the sides is concerned, both the teams have won one game each. India won it quite comfortably in Champions Trophy and West Indies outplayed India almost a week ago. Dhoni’s absence is clearly being felt and Virat Kohli would have to lead from the front if India has to win this game. Can Kohli bring India back to the winning ways by his aggressive approach? Indian batsmen have gotten out playing poor shots and their bowling hasn’t been good. However, Bhuvneshwar has played well and his comeback is certainly expected. Also, considering the overall performance and teams on paper, it’s still very hard to neglect strong Indian batting lineup. I suspect Indian batsmen to get back into the form and win this game.
India @ 1.80 William Hill
Indian batting hasn’t done well and one the major reason for that is their openers not firing. Both Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have looked good, but have not been able to carry their innings forward. Rohit Sharma has scored heavily recently in domestic competitions and in Champions Trophy. On the other hand, Murali Vijay didn’t perform well in two practice games in Champions Trophy and had an ordinary IPL. Considering above factors, I expect Rohit Sharma to score more than Murali Vijay in this match.
R Sharma v Vijay - Batsman Match
Rohit Sharma @ 1.73 William Hill