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World Cup: India should be wary of minnow threat against UAE

The match would also be a learning curve for the Emirates side and going by India's track record against the minnows, they have every reason to believe that they can pull off a heist.

Sajal K Patra |Cricketnext |February 27, 2015, 8:18 PM IST
World Cup: India should be wary of minnow threat against UAE

India have showed up in the World Cup with an attitude that can keep the demons away but cricket is a game where you are as good as your previous day and India need to field their best team against the UAE to ensure that they are in the knock-out stages of the tournament before even going in the lines of testing the bench strength.

There is a lot of trash talk about what the team combination should be for the match against the UAE and whether or not India should test a couple of players before the business end of the tournament kicks off. But most of us are firm believers of not tinkering with the winning combination as it just needs to go wrong once and the entire momentum shifts.

India got a taste of it by tampering with the team combination in the tri-series leading up to the tournament and in the middle of the debacle was Virat Kohli, who lost his form after he was dropped down the order to No. 4 instead of his usual No. 3 position.

India should not take the match lightly, given the fact that UAE have come up the ranks and earned their spot in the World Cup by going through the qualifying stages.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men should look to finish things off at the earliest at WACA, Perth, and while batting has done its job so far, opening partnerships have not yielded the desired fruits so far. Although Rohit Sharma was unlucky in the previous match against South Africa, India will do no harm to their chances in retaining the Cup if both the openers are at the top of their game before the quarter-finals begin.

The middle-order has not fired the way India would have liked, with the skipper still short of runs. Getting a hit against UAE will probably keep all bases covered for the rest of the tournament.

With Mohammad Shami nursing a knee injury and out for the game, it is more than likely that Bhuvneshwar Kumar will take his place but given Dhoni's preference towards bowlers who can bat, it would not be a surprise to see Stuart Binny making his debut in the World Cup. The rest of the eleven should remain the same if Dhoni doesn't have the urge of having a look at Axar Patel on the big stage.

UAE, on the other hand, have nothing to lose and some of them might just be overwhelmed by the prospect of rubbing shoulders with some of their childhood heroes as bulk of the players hail from either India or Pakistan and if anybody is left after the expats have been counted, he invariably would be from Sri Lanka.

The team so far has featured against Zimbabwe and Ireland and on both the occasions made the other team sweat for their victory. Their batting has been more than impressive with Shaiman Anwar leading the pack, followed by some eye-catching cameos from Khurram Khan that had almost got them to the jaws of victory.

The match against India would also be a learning curve for the Emirates side and going by India's track record against some of the minnows, they have every reason to believe that they can pull off a heist against the Men in Blue. After all every cloud has a silver lining and for those who are living in some parts of Dubai or Sharjah, it will be a carnival where it is a victory enclosed in defeat, doesn't matter who wins.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5264 263
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9072 259
see more