Millennium Post

India aim to make it 3-in-a-row vs UAE

India aim to make it 3-in-a-row vs UAE
On the field as well as on paper, UAE stand no chance against the world champions who have simply outplayed Pakistan and South Africa in their 76 and 130 run victories, respectively.

The batting unit has performed admirably well while the bowlers’ performance has surpassed everyone’s expectation in the first two matches. India though will be without the services of pacer Mohammed Shami due to a knee injury, but that is unlikely to make much difference in their bowling show against the UAE.

With the campaign for title defence firmly on track, it will be consolidation time against the UAE as MS Dhoni and his men are focused on getting the top spot in Group B, which would enable them play the fourth-placed team of Group A in the quarterfinal.

The match against UAE will give them a chance to record another big win and enhance the net run-rate in case they face a hiccup against the West Indies or Ireland in the later group stages of the tournament.

While Virat Kohli, with a century and 46, is back in touch, Shikhar Dhawan has been in blazing form with a half-century against Pakistan followed by a brilliant career-best ton against South Africa.

Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina have also made their fair share of contribution. With four of the top six batsmen in form, it could be ominous signs for an extremely inexperienced UAE bowling attack, whose collective experience is less than 30 matches. UAE skipper Mohammed Tauqir, at 43 years 43 days, is the second oldest cricketer in the tournament but has managed to play only seven ODIs having made his debut in 2004 against India in an Asia Cup match at Dambulla.

Ironically, their oldest cricketer is former captain Khurram Khan at 43 years and 250 days. The three pacers, left-armer Asanka Guruge and right-arm medium fast bowlers Mohammed Naveed and Amjad Javed have played less than 10 ODIs and can prove to be a cannon fodder for the likes of Dhawan, Kohli and Rahane.

Shami out with knee strain

India’s in-form seamer Mohammad Shami will miss Saturday’s World Cup clash against the United Arab Emirates in Perth due to a knee injury, a media release from the team said. Shami has a mild left knee problem, the release said, adding that he was given a “an ultrasound guided injection” and asked to rest for the Pool B match. The release did not say if the 24-year-old will be available for the next game against the West Indies in Perth on March 6.

The right-arm seamer has been India’s most successful bowler in the tournament with figures of four for 35 against Pakistan and two for 30 against South Africa. India, the defending champions, have won both games to head the Pool with four points. Seamer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar or all-rounder Stuart Binny may replace Shami for the UAE match.
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