World Cup 2019: Lot to sort for India before semis

Tags: Cricket World Cup 2019, India

Published on: Jul 05, 2019

The four semi-finalists of World Cup 2019 may have been decided but India still have a lot to play for when they face Sri Lanka in their last league game at Headingley, Leeds on Saturday. There a number of issues they need to sort which may haunt them in the semis. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be playing for pure pride.

Although India have lost only one match in the tournament, against hosts England, they have been far from convincing in recent games. The key focus of worry is their middle and lower order. MS Dhoni has got some runs but his approach has got India into trouble on more than one occasion. The number four slot is still not sorted with Vijay Shankar failing and while Rishabh Pant has promised a couple of good knocks, he hasn't done enough to convince yet; his fielding too being a liability.

The opening slot remains a concern, with Lokesh Rahul looking out of sorts despite getting a couple of half-centuries. In case, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have an off-day in the semis, it could hurt them big time. India might thus try out Mayank Agarwal just to see what he has to offer at the top. The bowling too has its problems. While Jasprit Bumrah has lived up to his number one bowler tag, Mohammed Shami has leaked a lot of runs although he has been among the wickets. As for Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, they have been far from the assets they were predicted to be in the build up to the World Cup.

India's opponents Sri Lanka were never expected to fare too well in the competition and that has proved to be the case. But for the excellent performance against England, they have been rather disappointing. Despite the best efforts of skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and veteran Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka have failed to prosper, let down by the rest.

Sri Lanka can take some confidence from the fact that the last time these two teams met in England, during the 2017 Champions Trophy, the Lankans chase down 321 with ease. Of course, that seems like a distant memory now. Sri Lanka will have to play out of their skins to beat a much-superior India, just like they overcame England.


Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kasun Ranjitha

India: Virat Kohli (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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