India take on Windies with eye on semis
With eyes firmly set on a semifinal berth, a confident India will seek to keep the momentum going when they take on an unpredictable West Indies in a crucial Group B match of the ICC Champions Trophy Cricket tournament at the Oval Stadium here.
Both the teams have won their opening group matches in contrasting fashion, and know very well that a win here will almost guarantee a spot in the last four stage of the tournament, being held for the last time.
While reigning world champions India defeated injury-hit South Africa by 26 runs in Cardiff after posting a commanding 331 for 7, the West Indies eked out a close two-wicket win over Pakistan in a low-scoring game on Friday.
But come Tuesday, the clash will be a battle between many players who have solid ‘knowledge’ of each other. Having just played the Indian Premier League, India and the West Indies are studded with key players who are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Interestingly, rival captains Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo are Chennai Super Kings teammates while Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle turned out for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
But this will be a clash where national prestige will be at stake and no quarter will be given nor asked for. From an overall team perspective and build-up, India look stronger on paper. Their batting looks in awesome form with three back-to-back 300-plus scores in conditions where the ball has done a bit early in the innings.
West Indies have a 2-1 win-loss record against India in the Champions Trophy.