World Cup 2019: 3 reasons why India should be wary of Windies
India to take on Windies in their next league match on Thursday.
Published - Jun 24, 2019 9:28 am | Updated - Jun 24, 2019 9:28 am
The Indian team has been on a roll, outclassing every single opponent that has come in its way. After a few emphatic victories, the men-in-blue got a much-needed reality check against the underdogs Afghanistan. Luckily for them, it came early in the tournament. Afghanistan, which has no wins to show, exposed some of the hidden weaknesses of the team, keeping them on the toes throughout.
However, India has the ability to regroup and recover quickly. An ‘unpredictable’ West Indian challenge awaits them. If the team manages to defeat the Windies, it would be safe to say that their semi-final berth is secured. However, there are a few challenges and threats that the team needs to see off. Let us take a look at them
1. In-form power hitters
The Windies batting in itself is always indulged in a battle of long sixes. The likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder can smash every bowler outside the park with utmost ease. All of them are match-winners who can single-handedly outclass the opposition bowling on their day.
Most of these batsmen bat in the middle and the lower-order, which makes the death overs very crucial. Windies struggled against Bangladesh who scalped five of their wickets in the last 11 overs. From a position where a target of 360+ was on the cards, Windies were restricted to 321, thanks to the wickets which kept falling at regular intervals.
Jasprit Bumrah will play a key role here. This will be a stern test of his death bowling, and if he manages to stop Andre Russell, Carlos Braithwaite, and Jason Holder, then India can stop them well below 300.
2. The four-pronged pace attack
West Indies has a lot of young and talented pacers in their ranks. Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, and Kemar Roach have paid off more often than not. Andre Russell has increased the depth of this four-pronged pace attack.
Sheldon Cottrell, in particular, has been phenomenal. He has been able to move the ball in the air in the beginning. As a result, the team has been able to make early inroads. They made Australia and New Zealand reeling at 38-4 and 7-2 respectively. However, the failure to carry forward the momentum in the middle phase cost them the match.
Therefore, the Indian top-order would need to see off the threat of new ball bowlers. If they manage to do so, they can attack other bowlers and put on a huge total on the board.
3. The batting wall – Shai Hope
Shai Hope has been the unsung hero for the Windies. He has prevented the flow of wickets from one end, and this has allowed the other batsmen to revolve around him and play their natural game. He is a technically sound player, someone who never throws away his wicket.
More importantly, Hope provides much-needed flexibility to the team. He can bat as an opener as well as a number three or four batsman. He has been successful at all these spots. The 25-year-old has scored 186 runs till now, with two half-centuries to his name. He will have to be removed at the start of his innings, otherwise, he can convert his starts into big scores.