New Delhi: Taking one team at a time, India are flying high in the ongoing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. The Men in Blue will continue to look for another sparkling victory on June 27 when they compete against West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester.
The venue and the opposition holds a special place in Indian fans’ hearts as, during the 1983 edition, India opened its campaign by defeating the West Indies on June 9 at Old Trafford. Kapil Dev’s devils went onto beat the same opposition at Lord’s in the World Cup finals on June 25.
Virat Kohli-led India will enter the match with an unbeaten streak as they have won four matches out of five fixtures with one getting washed out. While the West Indies have hardly lived up to their expectations, having won just one match out of six fixtures so far.
Both the teams possess players who have the ability to take their team over the line single-handedly. It will be interesting to see whether the match turns out to be a thrilling clash.
Here are the key players who can dominate the game:
The 25-year-old speed prodigy is considered to be a key player for India. Bumrah’s unconventional high-arm action and ability to bowl with variations make him a rare bowler among the cricketing fraternity. Apart from his wicket-taking skills, the number one ODI bowler is very economical in the death overs. Bumrah returned with figures of 2-35 against South Africa in first World Cup match. He continued his form and picked three Australian wickets. In his recent match, Bumrah turned the match in favour of India as he bagged two wickets against Afghanistan.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
The wicket-keeper batsman Dhoni led India to its second World Cup title in 2011. The former captain has been a guiding force of the team as he helps Virat Kohli during the crucial overs. In a World Cup warm-up match against Bangladesh, Dhoni smashed 113 runs off just 78 balls, which saw four boundaries and seven sixes. This knock silenced the critics who had been criticising Dhoni’s performance lately. Amid the gloves controversy against South Africa, Dhoni scored much needed 34 runs to beat the Proteas. Although he is not among the runs, Dhoni provides the much-needed support and calmness on and off the field.
The 39-year-old big hitter is playing his last World Cup. Gayle is a promising in-form batsman to give a brilliant start to his team in the top-order. The left-hander has featured in 295 ODIs and has 10,000 plus runs under his belt. Gayle scored a fifty off just 34 balls against Pakistan in their World Cup opener and has scored a quickfire knock of 21 runs against Australia. In West Indies’ last match against New Zealand, which the Caribbean side almost pulled off, Gayle played crucial innings of 87 runs and also took the pricey wicket of Ross Taylor.
Cottrell is known for his signature style – marching and stopping with a salute. He can be an X-factor for the Caribbean side. Cottrell got an early breakthrough by dismissing New Zealand’s Martin Guptill in a World Cup warm-up match. Against Pakistan in the first match, Cottrell picked the crucial wicket of Imam-ul-Haq. He continued his form against Australia and returned with two crucial wickets – David Warner and Glenn Maxwell. In his recent match, Cottrell rattled the top-order of New Zealand as he scalped four wickets.