India starts favourite as it takes on West Indies in the second semi-final of the ICC World T20 in Mumbai today evening. It is not just the home advantage but the roaring form of its key players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, spinner Ashwin and skipper Dhoni, which gives them an edge over their opponent.
Hot on their victory against Australia, Team India looks even more penetrative in its bid for a second T20 world cup title.
However, ace all-rounder Yuvraj Singh’s absence may hurt Team India’s calculation especially in the mid-innings phase. Singh was on Wednesday ruled out of the tournament due to an ankle injury. He twisted his ankle while batting in the previous match against Australia in Mohali.
26-year-old Manish Pandey, who has played two T20s, has been called in as cover for him on Monday but there is no final word on his inclusion in the final eleven.
Earlier, West Indies captain Darren Sammy conceded that he has no qualms of being labelled as under-dogs at Wankhede. Though, he insisted that his side would be no pushover in what seems like a “David vs Goliath contest”.
“I think it is 80-20 to India, so it feels like David vs Goliath contest but people tend to forget David won the fight, so it’s something similar to that,” said Sammy on the eve of the clash in Mumbai, further adding that his side “haven’t played the perfect game yet…So far, we have bowled really well in the tournament and on a few occasions, one batsman has taken responsibility”.
Among the stars in the game, all eyes will be set on the star batsman Virat Kohli along with Chris Gayle.
Though Gayle has often struggled with mercurial nature of his form, Team India will be better off seeing his back early in the innings. The Caribbeans, however, know that they need much more than Chris Gayle’s knock to hurt India’s chances.
“So it’s going to be a hell of a game, it’s going to be 15 West Indies players versus 78,000, plus billions of Indians… Yes, it’s a challenge we’re ready to face,” added Sammy.
Both India and West Indies have held the champions title once each before. And in the fifth edition of the T20 World Cup they’ll be keen to double the tally…unless England, who is already through to the finals, spoils their party with her own second win.
(With inputs from the Agencies)