ICC Champions Trophy 2013 Preview: India and West Indies aim to seal semi-final berths

India’s bowling is a bit of a worry. They did have a brilliant day against Australia in the warm-ups, but need to show that guile more consistently © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

London: Jun 10, 2013

Having beaten South Africa, a confident India face the West Indies in the sixth game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 at The Oval, London. Both sides are coming off victories and this is their chance of strengthening their claims for a berth in the semi-finals of the competition.
India put in a good all-round performance against South Africa in the opening game. The openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma laid down a solid foundation for the victory as they survived some tough overs and then attacked. The fielding in particular was good and that ultimately won India the game.
Things are looking good for India on the batting front as Dhawan and Rohit have struck form. Dinesh Karthik didn’t get a big score, but is in good touch and should continue at No 4. In the middle order, a lot depends on Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina. The great thing for India was that Ravindra Jadeja came good with the bat the other day. As you can see there is a lot of power in this line-up.
India’s bowling is a bit of a worry. They did have a brilliant day against Australia in the warm-ups, but need to show that guile more consistently. In all likelihood, they would persist with the same combination. The pacemen would be Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Ravichandran Ashwin would be the specialist spinner with Jadeja the spinning all-rounder. However, Irfan Pathan may push for a place if the conditions favour swing bowling.
West Indies have this very dangerous make-up to their side. It is a team full of power players who can win the game single-handedly. However, they also have this tendency of pressing the self-destruct button. Chasing a paltry total against Pakistan, the West Indies made heavy-weather of it and got there with only two wickets to spare.
The West Indies bowling would be buoyed by their performance in the first game. The attack looked dangerous and struck at regular intervals. Upfront, they have Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul — who can do a lot of damage with the new ball. Rampaul in particular has enjoyed bowling against India.
Sunil Narine remains a mystery and can hold things together in the middle-overs. Interestingly, West Indies played with only three specialist bowlers and might continue with that strategy. After all, it worked for them.
The batting however has to lift its game. With Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Kieron Pollard in their ranks, they have more than enough fire-power. If one of them comes good and the others rally around him, they would be on their way to a good total. They also have Ramnaresh Sarwan, who would add some “sanity” to the proceedings and would approach the game with a calm head.
At the outset, no one holds the advantage. It is imperative that both teams try to capitalise on good starts as that would set the tone for them for the game.

India (probable): Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma.
West Indies (probable): Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo (c), Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach.
Time: 15.00 IST | 09.30 GMT
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with cricketcountry.com and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)