World Cup 2019, India vs West Indies: Bumrah vs Gayle, Holder vs Kohli and other key battles

A confident Team India is all set to take on West Indies and before the big battle, a look at the key player battles.

India skipper Virat Kohli during an indoor practice session at Old Trafford in Manchester.   -  AFP

Jason Holder-led West Indies takes on an Indian team led by Virat Kohli needing a win to keep its semifinal hopes alive.

England's 64-run loss to Australia has kept the West Indies in contention for a top-four spot, though it needs to win its final three league matches, starting against India on Thursday.

Before the encounter, Sportstar takes a look at the player battles that could shape the result of the match.

Jasprit Bumrah vs Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle is a key player for the West Indies and on the eve of the match, revealed the ongoing World Cup won't be his final tournament.

The 39-year-old Jamaican has a couple of half-centuries in the tournament, but he hasn't had a positive impact on the West Indies after scoring a quickfire half-century against Pakistan in a small chase of 106.

West Indies will look up to its senior-most player going into an important match and, opening the innings, Gayle's biggest challenge will come from Bumrah.

Facing Jasprit Bumrah will be a challenge for Chris Gayle.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

 

Bumrah, who is the quickest of the Indian bowlers, bowls the hard length, which is neither full to drive nor short enough to play a horizontal-bat shot. Bumrah has the pace, too, to challenge Gayle, who likes the ball to be full enough to drive down the ground or short enough to pull on the swivel.

Jason Holder vs Virat Kohli

Holder has struggled for wickets in West Indies's recent matches - he has gone wicketless in the last three - after returning four for 70 in the first two.

Coming in as the one- or two-change bowler, the West Indies captain has not backed up Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas, who have picked wickets with the new balls more often than not.

India skipper Virat Kohli will look to dominate right from the start before Jason Holder unveils his tricks.   -  PRASHANT NAKWE

 

Holder, though, will be key to West Indies's bowing game-plan, particularly to Indian captain Kohli.

Ranked No. 1 in the ODI rankings, Kohli can be susceptible against balls on the fourth and fifth-stump line, which Holder will try to exploit.

The West Indies captain troubled his Indian counterpart during the Test series between the two teams in India late last year, albeit the balls nipping back off the seam were posing problems for Kohli on that occasion.

Yuzvendra Chahal vs Shimron Hetmyer

This is a battle between two players who played for the same franchise in IPL 2019: Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Hetmyer is a naturally attacking player, though his shot selection can be reckless at times. His half-century helped the West Indies recover from a precarious 20 for two against New Zealand.

Yuzvendra Chahal with his variations will look to tie down Shimron Hetmyer.   -  AFP

 

But the Guyanese batsman played a bad shot with West Indies in a comfortable position and was bowled by Lockie Ferguson, opening the match up for the Blackcaps.

With Chahal, a leg-break bowler, turning his stock ball into the left-hander, Hetmyer will target his hitting area, which is the big arc from square leg to wide mid-on.

Chahal, though, has the variations (googly, slider, top-spinner) to keep Hetmyer honest. The left-hander's style of play, perhaps more than anything, makes this an interesting contest.

Chahal has had a good World Cup so far with seven wickets from four games at a decent economy rate of 5.45, will be ready to ask questions along with wrist spin partner Kuldeep Yadav, who has given less than five runs per over.

Overall, the match promises to be a cracker of a contest and both teams will hope their key players deliver in a crunch game.

West Indies is in a must-win situation going into the match, while Virat Kohli's men will move a step closer to a semifinal spot with a win.