Manchester: India’s Cricket World Cup team arrived at noon for practice at the Old Trafford ground and straight away started fielding and taking high catches.
The team seems mindful that the West Indian players can hit their way to success through their hard-hitting batsmen in their match on Friday.
When asked how wary the team was on their not-so-impressive batting performance against Afghanistan and their plans to post a bigger score against the West Indies, Bharat Arun, the bowling coach said: “If you look at our first three games, we put up some really big scores. In the Afghanistan match, the wicket was a little sticky and it was tricky to bat under those circumstances. But I think it’s a question of adapting, understanding these conditions and adapting to that.”
The other issue was the high dot ball percentage following Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s slow knock against Afghanistan, which had come in for some criticism.
“I think we were able to successfully defend the total that we put up according to the situation and the condition of the wicket. Had we lost a wicket at that stage, then things could have turned out differently. So I don’t think it’s too much of a concern for us right now,” noted Arun.
West Indies skipper Jason Holder is hopeful of winning not only over India but against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan too.
“India is always a big game for West Indies and we’re looking forward to it. We would like to finish the campaign as best as we can,” he said.
The skipper knows that if his players deliver to their potential with their skills, no team is unbeatable for them.
“It’s just a matter of us putting together a complete game. We’ve shown glimpses here and there of what we can produce but we need to keep doing those things more. There’s no need to drop our heads as of now. We’ve got three games left in this campaign and we’ve got to just win all of them.”
It is expected to be a sunny day at Old Trafford and the wicket is likely to help the spinners.
Toss will be vital as the team batting first has won each of the three matches played here in this tournament.
India need a big score and they will look to their batsmen to go for shots and subdue West Indies.
When Arun was asked about Dhoni’s slow innings, compared to Kohli’s brisk one against Afghanistan, he said: “I think Virat Kohli is probably the number one batsman across all formats. So I think to compare anybody to the way he plays is not right. Yes, there is a constant dialogue between all the batsmen, the support staff, the batting coach and head coach Ravi Shastri. I can’t really get into the nitty-gritty of what we discuss but yes, there is a constant dialogue for us to improve.”
Since Mohammad Shami, who came in for injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar, has taken a hat-trick, who will be the first choice for the match?
Arun shrewdly remarked: “Bhuvaneshwar’s injury is not of any great concern. It is just a niggle which we didn’t want to take a chance. It was also an opportunity for us to plug Shami into the games but the fact he’s done exceptionally well goes well for us; it’s an embarrassment of riches. However, we will take the call as per the prevalent conditions. But yes, I think it’s a pretty good headache to have.”
Catch the match: West Indies vs India
Old Trafford, 1.30 pm UAE
Live telecast on OSN Cricket