By Sanjay Myers, ICC Cricket World Cup
MANCHESTER, England — Win or bust. That’s the West Indies mindset as they lock sights on unbeaten India in today’s Cricket World Cup clash at Old Trafford.
Game time is 10:30 am (4:30 am Jamaica time).
West Indies, captained by Jason Holder, are eighth on the 10-team table with three points from six games.
They still have a mathematical chance of advancing to the semi-finals, but will have to win today, as well as their remaining two contests, and enjoy favourable results elsewhere.
Virat Kohli-captained India, sitting pretty in third with nine points from five games, will have to suffer an incredible collapse to miss out on a top-four position.
“We need two points, definitely. It’s an important game for us,” star batsman Christopher Gayle said during yesterday’s press conference at the match venue.
“There’s still a slim chance for us to actually qualify. But anything’s possible. And going up against India, it’s always going to be a challenge,” the added.
The 39-year-old player noted that the team lost significant momentum after beating Pakistan by seven wickets in the opening game.
“It’s very disappointing. That start against Pakistan, everybody with the collars up, and the fans saying West Indies are actually a threat in the World Cup. We still have a self-belief,”
Regarding India’s strong start to the tournament, Gayle said: “They [India] have been playing good cricket as well. I’m actually looking forward to it. And everyone knows India’s style of cricket and hopefully we can actually conquer that tomorrow and get the better of them.”
India bowling coach Bharat Arun expressed respect for the West indies but said his side has plans in place to thwart the challenge.
“They’re an outstanding side and they play real positive cricket. We are aware of the challenges that exist in this game. And I think our plans are pretty much in place and we are up for the challenge,” he told reporters.
“But whenever batsmen come after you, if you’re willing to look at it deeply, there is a chance for it — in it for the bowlers, and I think that’s what the bowlers would be looking to do,” Arun added.
The West Indies’ next two games are against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street on July 1, and Afghanistan at Headingley on July 4.
India’s remaining games after today are against England and Bangladesh at Edgbaston on June 30 and July 2, respectively; and Sri Lanka at Headingley on July 6