Friday 3 July, 2020

West Indies v India: Windies aiming to avoid early exit from World Cup

Carlos Brathwaite deflated after West Indies' loss to New Zealand.

Carlos Brathwaite deflated after West Indies' loss to New Zealand.

West Indies will be trying to avoid elimination from the Cricket World Cup semi-finals but India can put one foot in the last four at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The Windies' bid to advance from the group stage is hanging by a thread following a heart-breaking five-run defeat to New Zealand at Edgbaston last weekend.

Carlos Brathwaite's magnificent century was in vain as the all-rounder was caught on the boundary by Trent Boult trying to complete what would have been an astonishing win with a six.

Jason Holder's men have no margin for error when they take on India in Manchester, where opening batsman Sunil Ambris will be hoping to get a chance after being called up to replace the injured Andre Russell.

India look destined to qualify after avoiding what would have been a stunning defeat to Afghanistan courtesy of a Mohammed Shami final-over hat-trick at the Rose Bowl last weekend.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is set to miss out with a hamstring injury.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

India have won four matches out of five, with the other against New Zealand washed out, to stand on the brink of the semi-finals.

The Windies' agonising loss to the Black Caps was their fourth of the tournament. The only win for Holder's men was their first match of the tournament, a seven-wicket drubbing of Pakistan.

WHAT THEY SAID

Windies captain Holder: "A match against India is always a big one. We are looking forward to it. We need to finish our campaign and our objective is to win all our remaining matches. It's a matter of displaying a perfect game, so it is another opportunity for us to showcase our skills."

India bowling coach Bharat Arun: "They're an outstanding side and they play real positive cricket. We are aware of the challenges that exist in this game. I think our plans are pretty much in place and we are up for the challenge."

OPTA FACTS

- India have won four of their last six ODIs against West Indies, including a crushing 224-run victory last October which is their third-largest in the 50-over format.

- The Windies have lost their last four completed World Cup matches, they have never endured a longer losing run in the history of the tournament.

- Chris Gayle has scored four centuries versus India in ODIs, his joint-most against any country in the format (level with England). Although the last of those came in 2006.

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