ICC World T20 2014 – Preview of India’s match against West Indies

In its second match of the ICC World T20 2014, India takes on West Indies, the world champions in the shortest form of cricket and also the second seeded side in the tournament. India has defeated Pakistan in the first match of the championship and that would have given them some much needed momentum ahead of this very important clash, which could go a long way in determining if the Asian giant goes to the semi finals or not. There has already been a war of words between Suresh Raina and Darren Sammy, the Windies captain, regarding big hitting bragging rights, during the press conference preceding the match. It only remains to be seen if the fireworks happen on the cricket pitch or not.


Form: If the formbook is anything to go by West Indies will be on an even keel with India, one of the firm favorites for the title following their display against Pakistan. They have outplayed England and also Sri Lanka, the top rated team in international T20s, quite comfortably in the warm up games. This would ensure that they are in a positive bent of mind going into this important game.


First eleven: It is expected that India will go in with the same team that won against Pakistan with the exception of an injury:


Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra and Mohammad Shami


Considering, this is the first match of the team in a global tournament where there is a pressure to retain the title it would be hard to imagine West Indies going in with anything other than their best team:


Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Dinesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Ravi Rampaul/Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree and Krishmar Santokie


Importance of the match: For India, this would be an opportunity to cement its place in the semis. A winning display against a champion T20 team such as West Indies would also further boost the players’ confidence. Similarly for West Indies, it will be important to start with a win so that the title defence campaign gets off to a perfect start.


Issues for the teams: India’s major problem, even after the Pakistan match is its bowling especially the seam bowling. The seamers have been going for runs and while Shami has still picked up wickets Bhuvneshwar has been ineffective on that front as well. This would mean that Dhoni will still depend on the toss. The display of Yuvraj would be a worry for Dhoni as well. He may have been looking to bring in Rahane at some stage in the tournament but considering it is a winning combination, he would not want to tinker with it.


West Indies is blessed with great allround strength but still the team is too dependent on Gayle. If the Jamaican big man has a day off it could very well create problems for West Indies.