On a roll with a hat-trick of victories under their belt, a rampaging India will look to continue their winning run against an inconsistent but dangerous West Indies in their fourth group league encounter of the ICC Cricket World Cup, here tomorrow.
The Indian juggernaut has rolled with such speed that it has crushed arch-rivals Pakistan, a pretty solid South Africa and minnows UAE under its wheels while being firmly perched at the top and inching towards the pole position in the group B points table.
On the eve of the match, India would hope that the off-the-field controversy surrounding vice-captain and team’s batting mainstay Virat Kohli’s conduct doesn’t turn out to be a distraction in an otherwise smooth campaign so far.
The India versus West Indies clash has all the ingredients of a cracker but the Caribbeans have never really performed well against India since 1992 in Wellington, when they last won the contest at the global event.
On paper as well as on current form, West Indies are no match for India, who were near flawless in their three matches with thorough professional performances.
All the Indian top-order batsmen have contributed in some form or the other in the first three matches while the bowlers have silenced their critics with some solid show which makes them clear favourites against the young Jason Holder-led team.
Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan have struck form from the start of the tournament while Suresh Raina made useful contribution in the first match against Pakistan.
Rohit Sharma missed out in the first two games but against UAE, got a decent hit out there in the middle with a half-century. The performance of the specialist batsmen have in fact covered the grey area which is skipper Dhoni’s indifferent form.
Among the bowlers, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been the best with eight wickets and a mean economy rate under present field restrictions.
Mohit Sharma has been the surprise package for India in the tournament while Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and a half-fit Bhuvneshwar Kumar have come up with more decent performances.
There is a ‘Chris Gayle Factor’, which makes it an intriguing battle as the big Jamaican can change the complexion of a game in a matter of five overs.