India will take on West Indies in a must win game at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg but the win will not do the trick for the Indians. Their fortunes depends on the game at Centurion first they need to pray for their arch-rivals Pakistan to win their game and then they need to beat West Indies by big margins to qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy 2009.
India approach Wednesday's game against the West Indies with a prayer on the lips that Pakistan would somehow prevail over Australia by a big margin in the day's first game in Centurion. If it happens India will eye to lift their net run rate better of Australia to qualify for the Semi Finals of Champions Trophy.
At presently India have -1.08 NRR while Australia have +1.00 NRR, it happens because India lost their game by 54 runs and Australia win their game against West Indies by 50 runs. A difference of 2.08 in India and Australia's net run-rates looks huge on paper, but since it is based on the results of one match each it is not impossible to wipe out.
Here is the scenario: Suppose Australia loses their game against Pakistan by 25 runs then India either need to beat West Indies by 80 runs or they have to beat West Indies by 33.4 overs regardless of whatever target they were chasing to get better of Australia net run rate.
But all this to happen Pakistan have to beat Australia otherwise India have no chance to qualify for the semis. West Indies on the other hand has some advantage since they have played their last two games at Wanderers, Johannesburg they know the condition better than India.
So far they have performed exceptionally well in the tournament, scaring each team they have played. Against Pakistan they were bowled out for 134 but during Pakistan run chase they reduced the Pakistanis to 76/5 but thanks to Umar Akmal Pakistan manages to get through over line. In their second game, West Indies first had Australia on the back foot and later in the evening, they batted beyond their skins to give the world champions a true scare.
Indian bowlers who so far struggled in the tournament might enjoy bowling on such Wanderers wicket which assists help to the fats bowlers.
Watch out for
Pakistan v Australia Game at Centurion: Before watching India v West Indies game it will be interesting to watch the game happening at Centurion. Since the fate of India depends on the outcome of the game between Australia and Pakistan.
Kemar Roach: One of the promising pace bowler of West Indies who bowled his heart out against Australia at the same venue, the Wanderers, he bowled with pace and hostility, something India can do without in their current state of mind.
Pitch & Condition
India will be playing at Wanderers for the first time in the tournament however their bowlers will enjoy bowling on this wicket. West Indies on the other hand having played their last two games has some familiar condition than Indians. The day will be brighter with little cloud surrounding around.
It will be big time for M.S.Dhoni when he went out for toss, since his final playing XI depends on what happens in the first inning at centurion and then the toss at Wanderers. If India will bowl first then M.S.Dhoni would love to play with extra batsman to chase down the score as quickly as possible but if they bat first then they will play with same XI as against Australia in the rain washed game.
West Indies on the other hand is likely to include K.Powell in place of injured Dale Richards.
Likely Playing XI for both Teams (Match is Schedule to begin at 18:00 PM India Time)
India Squad: Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, M.S.Dhoni (Captain & WK), Virat Kohli, Yusuf Pathan, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishara, Ashish Nehra, Ishant Sharma.
West Indies Squad: Devon Smith, Andre Fletcher, Keiran Powell, Travis Dowlin, Floyd Reifer (Captain), David Bernard, Darren Sammy, Chadwick Walton (WK), Nikita Miller, Tino Best, Gavin Tonge.
Stats & Trivia
The Wanderers stadium has been a tough ground to chase as we have seen many team struggle to chase big totals but team like England, New Zealand and Pakistan chased down smaller total not with ease.
So far West Indies have played India twice in the Champions trophy and won on occasions, one in Dhaka and one in the Ahmedabad.