India have lost both their matches of the tri-series so far © Getty Images

Port of Spain: Jul 4, 2013

Their campaign in tatters after two consecutive defeats, India need to regroup quickly as they go into a must-win match against hosts West Indies in the cricket tri-series on Friday.

The ICC Champions Trophy 2013 winners have suddenly looked vulnerable as the young Indian players found it tough to come to terms with the challenging conditions.

As if the two-paced Caribbean wickets were not enough to trouble the Indians, injury to charismatic skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has only made the job tough for them.

Friday’s contest comes as a huge challenge and test for the leadership quality of Virat Kohli, who is being considered as a future captain of the country.

Kohli’s tactics during the big-defeat against Sri Lanka did not work and it will be interesting to see how he leads the young pack in the pressure match, where a defeat will virtually ensure their elimination.

West Indies are best placed so far with nine points, courtesy two wins from as many matches while Sri Lanka are second with five points. Both the teams have managed to win a bonus point.

A victory on Friday will keep India alive in the competition. Their defeat would send the hosts into the final and from there, India’s chances to qualify for the final will depend on a lot of ifs and buts.

First and foremost, India would need a favour from the West Indies to beat Sri Lanka in their final league match on Sunday and then India will have to beat the Asian neighbours on Tuesday in a certain number of overs to make it to the summit clash.

India’s victory on Friday will keep the tournament open as all three teams will have a chance to book a place in the title clash.