Carlton Tri-Series Cricket: Virtual Semifinal India Vs England!

If Team India is proven third time lucky tomorrow then they will definitely play Australia in the Carlton Mid Tri-Series Cricket Final on 1st February 2015. India got what they wanted on 23rd January when Australia defeated a resurgent England overcoming a huge 300+ target with three wickets in hand and just a ball to spare. India proved lucky again on India’s Republic Day, 26th January, when they got hold of two precious points through the backdoor as their crucial match against undefeated Australia got washed out due to persistent rains. India did not look to be in a sound position to hope vanquishing a dangerous Australia in that match. Now, with these two points, India just needs to defeat England who have 5 points from the match against India including a bonus point straight and simple without bothering about bonus points or run rate pressures. Their two injured players, Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma, have come back into the team and this could be crucial in the Perth encounter tomorrow. Therefore, if they are lucky and professional enough in tomorrow’s virtual semifinal they will be through to the final. Australia is already through to the final with 15 points.

However, England with their batsmen in form, and pacers Finn and Anderson already proving lethal against the shaky Indian batting line-up would try very hard indeed to ensure a place in the final. England would also be looking for some extra bounce in the Perth pitch to pressurize the Indian batsmen like they did in the last encounter. They have a score to settle with Australia too after two consecutive defeats.

For India the biggest worry continues to be opener Shikhar Dhawan who has a string of failures so far and it is difficult for the captain to drop him because of World Cup prospects and that Rohit Sharma is yet to be declared fit. This crisis of options is set to haunt India in the coming World Cup too and a lot depends on how they would deal with the questions we raised in these pages. Amabati Rayadu is not looking comfortable at No. 3 and only God knows why Virat Kohli is not being played at his customary No. 3 position. If they are to win the match tomorrow, give a good contest in the final and to have positive run-up to the World Cup-2015 they must settle their issues now. Anyway, we are in for a big match tomorrow in Perth.


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