ICC Champions Trophy is reaching its climax and we are on the verge of a cracker of a semi-final match between India and Bangladesh on Wednesday. As per the cricket pundits, India look to be favourites to go on to the final. But, Bangladesh is one team which has progressed well recently and they can upset any opposition on their given day.
Pakistan is one team which has already qualified for the final to be played on Sunday. With that, viewers in India are hugely anticipating a mouth-watering India vs Pakistan final. But, for India, there is one hurdle in Thursday’s match which is yet to be surpassed.
On the eve of the second semi-final, we look into five of the Indian players to watch out for in the match. These players can give team that impetus to cross this hurdle and play Pakistan in final. Here is the list of Indian players who can make the difference in the match:
Shikhar Dhawan: There is something about Champions Trophy and ODIs in England. He just takes his game above few notches and performs at his best in these fixtures. He was instrumental last time and made India champions in the Champions Trophy. He is doing exactly that this time around as well. He is middling the ball well. He is nicely coming in line of the ball to play the shots. He is stroking it all around the park. He is aggressive yet consistent. In case he fires today, India will be in safe hands and will be in a great position to fancy their chances.
Virat Kohli: Indian skipper was not at his best during the recently concluded IPL in India. But, that did not deter him from playing close to his best in the Champions Trophy. He has been consistent and destructive at the same time. He is playing to the situation and it is very dangerous sight for the opposition. That also reflected in his ICC ODI rankings for batsmen as he is now holding the pinnacle. He is also a big match player and one who relish challenges. I guess, the big stage will be enough to motivate this champion. He also holds that important number 3 in batting position which is very crucial irrespective of India bat first or second.
Yuvraj Singh: Yuvraj is playing his 300th ODI match on Thursday. The veteran is still playing at his best. Good news is that Yuvraj is in the best of form so far in this tournament. This is also a well-established fact that when Yuvraj fires, the team becomes different. The impact leaves other teams demoralised and the game completely changes. In case it is Yuvraj on Thursday, Bangladesh will be in very difficult position. Skipper also said after the match against Pakistan, he himself looked like a club player in front of Yuvraj. Such is the form he is in. His assault will prove decisive in the semi-final to be played on Thursday.
Jasprit Bumrah: The one good thing that has happened to Indian team recently is Jasprit Bumrah. He has come as a breath of fresh air. The young fast bowler is completely in his control right now. The Man of the Match award against South Africa was richly deserved. He was already known for his ability to outfox batsmen with his exceptional death bowling but with a tight line and length bowling from him against a top side of SA was a seldom sight in Indian cricket. He simply did not let batsmen to take breath with his immaculate line and length. He would again be trump card for captain Kohli in Thursday’s match. He will certainly be a player to look out for in this match.
Umesh Yadav: Sans the match against Sri Lanka, the bowler has delivered greatly for India. His pace and movement of the pitch can easily bamboozle the batsmen especially in a condition like this. Umesh Yadav at the start of bowling will be an ominous question for Bangladesh’s openers. His initial battle with openers will be a thing to watch out for. If Umesh will be in his elements, it will be very difficult for Bangladesh to settle in the match. The bowler has improved leaps and bounds in all these years to become much bankable bowler in crucial encounter like this.