India will aim to continue their winning streak and inch a step closer to a spot in the semifinals as they face West Indies in their sixth match of the World Cup.
West Indies come into this match after a heartbreaking five-run loss to New Zealand – a game that seemed all but over before Carlos Brathwaite almost produced an unimaginable result.
Such has been the story of the Jason Holder-led side in this tournament so far, as the little flashes of brilliance at different points haven’t been enough to produce the desired results.
With mathematical permutations still giving them an outside chance for a semifinal berth, West Indies will aim to pull off a complete performance against an in-form Indian side.
The Indian bowlers once again proved their match-winning capabilities as they successfully defended a below-par score against Afghanistan on Saturday. Mohammed Shami, who picked up a hat-trick in Southampton, is likely to retain his place in the playing XI as India are unlikely to risk playing Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was sidelined due to a hamstring injury.
The Indian middle-order will look to add more stability to the batting and bat deep into the innings to give bowlers enough runs in the bank.
India captain Virat Kohli has scored fifties in each of his last three innings to give enough evidence of his batting form. Kohli, who already has 41 one-day international hundreds to his name and averages 70.77 against West Indies, will eye for another three digit score to guide his team to a position of strength.
Sheldon Cottrell, the tall left-arm pacer from Jamaica, has been a strike bowler for West Indies in this tournament, producing performances worthy of a ‘salute’. Cottrell, who dismissed both the New Zealand openers in the first over and finished with figures of 4/56 against New Zealand, could be a key weapon for West Indies.
It will be a dry and mostly sunny day with warmth and humidity. Dryness might bring the spinners into play as the day progresses. Teams batting first have won each of the three matches played at Old Trafford in this tournament so far.
Andre Russell, who appeared to be in discomfort each time he stepped onto the field, has been ruled out of the tournament due to a knee injury.
India bowling coach Bharat Arun believes his side can tame the big hitters.
“They’re an outstanding side and they play real positive cricket. We are aware of the challenges that exist in this game. And I think our plans are pretty much in place and we are up for the challenge,” he said.
India skipper Virat Kohli has scored 1,840 runs -- the most by any batsmen in the two sides -- in the 32 matches he played against the West Indies.
West Indies’ wicket-keeper batsman Shai Hope has an average of 53.87 -- the most by any batsmen among the players of West Indies’ current World Cup side -- in the 10 matches he played against India.
West Indies opener Chris Gayle has amassed 1241 runs -- most by any player in the current West Indies World Cup squad -- in the 37 matches he played against India.
Chris Gayle’s 23 wickets against India is also the highest by any bowlers from West Indies’ current World Cup squad