India will be aiming to come one step closer to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final with a win over West Indies. (Image credit: Getty Images)
The contest between India and West Indies is an interesting match-up when it comes to momentum. In the clash against Afghanistan, Virat Kohli’s side was given an almighty scare by the discipline of the Afghan side and it needed a special hat-trick from Mohammed Shami and the brilliance in the death overs of Jasprit Bumrah to help India win by 11 runs. On the other hand, West Indies faced a massive heartbreak against New Zealand. Carlos was already ‘Remember the Name’ Brathwaite when he hit four consecutive sixes in the 2016 World T20 Final against England to etch his name in history. In Manchester, Brathwaite was on the cusp of a legendary feat when he smashed a century but in the quest for glory, his lofted shot found Trent Boult near the boundary and the West Indies dream ended by five runs.
Brathwaite’s expression and the morale-shattering nature of the loss have put West Indies on the edge. A loss against India will end their chances of reaching the semi-final. On the other hand, India would be aiming to avoid a slip-up as the race for the playoffs intensify. So far, the bowling and the batting have clicked for Kohli’s side. Against Afghanistan, they were tested and Kohli would be happy that Kedar Jadhav’s fifty gave the middle order some buffer.
With India getting a good test, Kohli’s side would be aiming to sustain the momentum while the West Indies will be aiming to add more spice in the race for the playoffs by beating India, something which they have not done for 27 years in this tournament. For India, the clash against the West Indies in England will evoke memories of nostalgia. It was in this country, 36 years ago, in the month of June that Kapil Dev’s side defeated the-then two-time champions at Lord’s by 43 runs to become champions for the first time.
India will head into the match unchanged, with Mohammed Shami securing his spot after the hat-trick against Afghanistan. For the West Indies, Andre Russell's departure will be a big blow. However, Carlos Brathwaite's exploits have shown that the West Indies power-hitting is in safe hands.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
West Indies (Playing XI): Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope(w), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder(c), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell
Who will win?
On current form, looking at team morale and current form, India is winning the contest against West Indies, who are fighting for survival.
Weather and pitch
The build-up to the game has been marred by rain. The weather for Thursday is fine with no rain. A high of 27 degrees should make it an ideal English summer.
West Indies has not beaten India for the last 27 years in a World Cup. On current form, the West Indies can put up a fight. However, when it comes to pressure situations, India holds the edge.
Stadium and timings
The match will be played at Old Trafford and the match will begin at 3:00 PM IST.