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World T20, India vs West Indies: Key battles in second semi-final

Gayle vs Nehra, Kohli vs Badree and Bravo vs Pandya will be some key battles which are expected to make India-West Indies T20 semifinal an exciting affair, in Mumbai on Thursday.

Vivek Mishra |Cricketnext |March 31, 2016, 1:16 PM IST
World T20, India vs West Indies: Key battles in second semi-final

Now as we are heading to the business-end of the tournament, England is the team that nobody would have thought will make it to the semifinals. But not only did they managed to reach the last four of the World T20, the Eoin Morgan-led side outplayed New Zealand on Wednesday to reach the final. For the second spot of the summit clash on Sunday, India and the West Indies face each other at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday.

India and the West Indies won three matches each in the Super 10 stage but their journeys so far have been completely different. India, after suffering a shock 47-run loss to New Zealand in Nagpur, had the worst net run rate in Group 2, but inspired by some stunning batting performances from Virat Kohli, the hosts registered wins against Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia to return back to their form and book a semis berth. West Indies, on the other hand, made a brilliant start by beating England, Sri Lanka and South Africa in a row to qualify for the semi-finals but suffered a shock six-run defeat in their last group game against minnows Afghanistan.

Both teams have got some big match-winners in their squad and their 'battle' is expected to be a high-octane encounter. CricketNext takes you through some of the possible key battles from the match:

Chris Gayle vs Ashish Nehra: Chris Gayle is one batsman who if gets going, can take away a match from the opposition single-handedly. One of the biggest hitters in the game, Gayle, showed what he is capable of when he scored a 47-ball century that helped the West Indies hammer England by six wickets in their first Super 10 game. Gayle, due to his IPL experience, knows Indian pitches and bowlers well and the thing that makes him so dangerous is that he is patient and takes some time to settle down when the ball is not coming to the bat easily.

His positive approach and fearless batting makes him a threat for India but the hosts have got a veteran Ashish Nehra in the squad and he is known to provide the team early breakthroughs. Nehra, since making his return to the international cricket, has been in outstanding form. He is a smart bowler who varies his pace and length quite frequently, making it tough for the batsman to hit big shots. Nehra will be India’s best chance to remove the Gayle early and it will be an interesting contest to watch out for.

Virat Kohli vs Samuel Badree: Virat Kohli is arguably the best batsman in the world right now and the ease with which he is taking India to victories makes you feel that he is unstoppable. Just when we thought we have seen the best of him, Kohli went on to score a stunning 82-run knock - which he described as his best in T20Is - as India defeated Australia by six wickets to reach the semis. He has been the most dependable batsman in Indian squad in last few years and looks in complete control while chasing big targets.

He is one of the top scorers in the tournament and now that he is number one in the T20I batsmen rankings, his contest with Samuel Badree will be an exciting one as the spinner from Trinidad is the top-ranked bowler in the format. Badree has always been an underrated player due to the presence of Sunil Narine in the WI squad but now in his absence, he is the leading spinner and has been a key player for his team in the tournament. Badree has picked up 6 wickets in four matches with an impressive economy rate of 5.46 runs per over.

Dwayne Bravo vs Hardik Pandya: It will be a battle of allrounders. While Dwayne Bravo is an experienced player and is known to be one of the best allrounders of the game, Hardik Pandya who made his international debut in 2016, is quickly becoming a key member and a match-winning allrounder for India. Bravo's skills in the format makes him one of the most successful players. He is a big hitter but bats according to the situation and has taken WI to some great wins with his batting. He bowls perfect yorkers and has the ability of breaking partnerships at crucial moments and is also the most experienced T20 player in the WI squad. Nehra defined Pandya as a Caribbean guy for his carefree and happy-go-lucky attitude - much like Bravo - and this makes it an interesting contest. Considering their all-round abilities, we can see them in action both with the bat and the ball against each other. MS Dhoni has confidence in him and we saw him give Pandya the last over against Bangladesh when the Tigers needed 10 runs to win the match.

Rohit Sharma vs Andre Russell: Rohit Sharma, before the World T20 started, was going through a brilliant run and was scoring runs against every opponent. But he has has failed to contribute with the bat in the tournament and it has put extra responsibility on Kohli’s shoulders. Indian batting has been over-reliant on Kohli and it’s high time for the top order to step up and start scoring runs. Wankhede Stadium is the home ground for him and Rohit likes the ball to come to his bat with quick pace. It will be interesting to see how he tackles Andre Russell, who has been the leading wicket-taker for the West Indies in the tournament so far. He has taken seven wickets in the four matches he has played in the World T20 with an average of 17.28 and an economy rate of 7.56 runs per over. Russell is a T20 specialist and other than his fast bowling, he is more than a handy batsman who is known for hitting big shots and accelerating the scoring rate during death overs.

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 3241 112
3 South Africa 3177 102
4 England 4593 102
5 Australia 3672 102
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1 England 6745 125
2 India 7364 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10071 258
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