India looks assured, West Indies knocked out
ICC World Cup 2019
Match 34, Played at Manchester on 27 June
India Vs West Indies
Brief Score Card
India 268/7 ( Virat Kohli 72, MS Dhoni 56, KL Rahul 48, MH Pandya 46, KAJ Roach 3/36, SS Cottrell 2/50) beat West Indies 143 All Out ( SW Ambris 31, N Puran 28, SO Hetmyer 18, M Shami 4/16 , JJ Bumrah 2/9 , YS Chahal 2/29) by 125 Runs
Player of The Match: Virat Kohli.
A huge win by 125 runs by India against West Indies almost assures them of a semifinal berth. At the same time whatever slim chances West Indies had for a last minute dash has evaporated. India with 11 points from 6 matches is now positioned 2nd behind top of the table Australia with 12 from 7 matches. West Indies stay in this world cup is now a mere formality as they managed only 3 points from 7 matches .
India batting first on a trick wicket providing lot of assistance to the bowlers battled out to a score of 268/7 in their allotted overs. Their quality diverse attack crushed West Indies to mere 143 all out. Winning by 125 runs India firmly consolidated their position in the top league. They look like further cementing their place with matches against England, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The ICC top ranked formidable Indian team is not even at its top gear yet. But they are the only unbeatable team so far.
Indian batsmen quickly assessed the pace, bounce and turn of the used Manchester Wicket under sun shine when Virat opted to bat. Roach and Cottrell bowled some great deliveries. It was not a big bang wicket. The emphasis was on playing with soft hands and rotating the strikes . After losing flamboyant Rohit early, Virat and Rahul concentrated on that. The wicket had subtle movement, was gripping and turning. West Indies pacers Cottrell and Roach bowled teasing deliveries. But they were far from consistent.
Rohit could not do much. But Rahul and Kohli quickly assessed the condition. They concentrated on rotating strikes. Instead of hitting big boundaries run mostly came in singles. The second wicket partnership produced 69 runs. On this solid foundation quality Indian batting batted with a vision. Kohli scored a quality 72 like a horse for the course. Dhoni finished scoring 52 and Rahul at the top contributed 48. India perhaps missed a trick not giving Rishabh Pant a game. They are possibly wrongly investing on Vijay Shankar. Roach (3/36) and Cottrell (2/50) looked good but could be better if West Indies took all their catches. Indian batting appeared not to have coming out from inertia they demonstrated against Afghanistan. They have few areas to address before they go deeper into the tournament.
The Indian score could be susceptible if only universe boss CH Gayle could have fired. What a pity that such a champion in his dusk is not singing sweet. Talented but under rated Shami looked in ominous form. In his penetrative first spell he pegged West Indians effectively. Gayle, Hope and Hetmyer were consumed early. Bumrah also did not lag behind. He kept on bowling tight and he killed any possibility of middle order surge clipping the wings of free scoring Holder and Brathwaitte effectively.
West Indies innings never went smooth at all . India experimented their bowling combination sensing that pace bowlers taking out the venom of West Indies batting, created that opportunity for them. Shami and Bumrah did not bowl their quota of overs . Still in 6.2 overs Shami took 4/16 and Bumrah in his 6 overs took 2/19 . Chahal also took 2/29 with his leg spin. No West Indies batsman looked at ease . It was pathetic watching free stroking West Indies batsmen groping in the dark. Only Sunil Ambris drafted late for injury to Andre Russel scored 31. 5 batsmen could not even reach double figures as wickets tumbled at rapid frequency. West Indies was bundled out for 143 losing by 125 runs.
We are not sure India is in top gear yet. Back to back in two games Indian batsmen looked shaky against bowling of Afghanistan and West Indies . They must regroup and reassess their batting options for the more intense contests in the knock out stage. Their remaining matches against Bangladesh and England may not be cake walk. Rishabh Punt or KD Karthik should have been tried. However, high quality diverse attack is their asset. Sun shining, days getting warmer and wickets getting drier would be advantage for India.