2nd Semi Final: India Vs West Indies – Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai 31st March 2016 - ICC WT20 Match Preview
Pre tournament favourites and hosts India will clash with the men from Caribbean in the second semi final of the ICC WT20 at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai tomorrow, the winner earning the right to play either England or New Zealand.
India stumbled against the Kiwi spinners at Nagpur but bounced back to trash traditional rivals Pakistan before securing a heart stopping victory against Bangladesh and then finally trounced Australia in Mohali riding on a superb innings by Virat Kohli.
West Indies, on the other hand started off by trashing the English in a high run chase before seeing off both Sri Lanka and South Africa with relative ease before being toppled by the impressive Afghani team.
The Indian batting has largely been a one man show with Kohli doing the bulk of the scoring. Rohit, Raina and Dhawan have failed in all the games and the patience must be running out especially when Dhawan and Raina are considered. Yuvraj might miss the game because of the ankle injury he sustained in the last match. Dhoni remains the only other man in form along with Kohli but he has stubbornly resisted to move himself up the order.
The West Indian bowling might not be as strong as their batting but it does the job in the shortest format of the game with it's variedness. Benn provides the perfect foil for Samuel Badree and these two have been exceptional for the Windies thus far. Bravo provides stability in the middle overs with his variations and Russell opens the bowling for them often hitting 145 kph. The fact that these two are also very good batsmen means that West Indies are served well.
The West Indian batting is almost a scary sight to deal with. With the towering Gayle starting the proceedings, one might easily miss the batsmen at the other end but Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels and Lendl Simmons (drafted in for Andre Fletcher) can all win games on their own. Then comes their string of big hitting all rounders in Bravo, Russell, Sammy and Brathwaite - all of whom can give the ball a proper battering and on a good Wankhede track remain a dangerous proposition to deal with.
The Indian bowling has gelled well and that has given Dhoni plenty of confidence even though their stronger suit, batting, has not functioned as per high standards. Nehra has been exceptional with his line and lengths and has bowled intelligently on the slow Indian tracks. Bumrah has not started well in the power plays but his pin-point yorkers in the slog overs have been almost impossible to hit. Ashwin and Jadeja have bowled well in the middle overs while Raina and Yuvraj have provided alternate spinning options. Pandya has been getting wickets as well with his relative harmless looking bowling.
It will be a great game between two very good teams who are in form and at home in the T20 format of the game. I feel that if India chase then West Indies might lose this as India would prefer chasing wholly the West Indian bowling is not as strong as their batting. Dew might also play a part and bowling might be difficult in the second innings. So I feel that the chasing team will have a great advantage tomorrow and will in all probability go on to win the game.