Following their defeats in the first two games of the ongoing tri-series, India have fallen so behind in the tournament that even if they win the next two games handsomely, they might not make it through to the final. Remember both West Indies and Sri Lanka have gained a bonus point each following their respective crushing victories. India, on the other hand, have fallen apart since they are pointless and have an extremely poor run rate owing to their massive loss to Sri Lanka. That, however, doesn’t mean India must give up just as yet. At the same time, here are a few aspects that India must get right to do well against West Indies at Port of Spain on Friday.
Dhawan must fire: The early loss of Shikhar Dhawan in both the matches India have played so far and the team’s subsequent defeat is a clear indication of how highly dependent India have become on the left-hander in a short span of time. Although it is not a good sign, India would still hope that Dhawan gets back to his Champions Trophy form at least till the other batsmen rise up to the task. The match will be a challenge for Dhawan himself, who will suddenly find himself under a bit of pressure.
Good starts must be converted: In both the games India have played their batting has been disappointing. The major reason for the same has been than a number of their batsmen have got starts and got out. Rohit Sharma got 60 against West Indies. Dinesh Karthik has registered 23 and 22 in the two games while Suresh Raina has made 44 and 33. In the defeat against Sri Lanka, Dhawan made 24 and Murali Vijay 30, which basically means that most of the batsmen have got their eye in, but have failed to carry on.
Kohli special needed: Over the years, Virat Kohli has played some amazing knocks under the toughest of circumstances to rescue India. He will need to come up with something brilliant at Port of Spain as well. As for his captaincy, it would be unfair to comment anything on his performance against the Lankans as it was his first day in charge. At the same time, India looked totally clueless against their Asian counterparts, and some improvements woulddefinitely be expected from Kohli the captain and the team as a whole.
Bring Bhuvi back: No one could have gauged the gigantic extent of damage the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar caused in the game against Sri Lanka. But, he should definitely be back in the mix for the do-or-die match against hosts West Indies. If he can get the early breakthroughs, nothing better. At the same time, India would want the other bowlers to rise to the occasion as well. The trio of Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin must do a lot more. And, it would only help if Ravindra Jadeja gets back among the wickets.
--By A Cricket Analyst