New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg – Wednesday, September 30, 2009 (D/N)
India would appear to need something approaching a miracle to reach the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy today. First they need pakistan to beat Australia, bear in mind Pakistan are already qualified so probably won’t be pulling up any trees in their quest for victory, and are they really going to want to do any favours for India.
Thats part one of the sequence, India then will have to beat West Indies by a rather large margin to complete the second part of the unlikely miracle. A feat that judging by West Indies previous two performances in this tournament won’t be easily achieved.
By all accounts the team that the West Indies Cricket Board decided to send to this Champions Trophy have more than done themselves proud and at no stage yet have they looked totally out classed, ok they struggled with the bat against Pakistan but then bowled well and fought back on a wicket that probably wasn’t the best for batting on. Against Australia they looked out of the match on two or three occasions and each time fought back until they eventually succumbed to a 50 run defeat.
India will have to improve on their performances to date if they are to beat West Indies by the appropriate margin, but by then it might just be too late if Pakistan can’t do them the big favour needed.
Ishant Sharma has looked low on confidence so far in this competition but would expect India to stick with him for this match. While for West Indies, Dale Richards is out with a dislocated shoulder.
India – Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Virat Kohli, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra.
West Indies – Devon Smith, Andre Fletcher, Keiran Powell, Travis Dowlin, Floyd Reifer (C), David Bernard, Darren Sammy, Chadwick Walton (WK), Nikita Miller, Tino Best, Gavin Tonge.