India v West Indies
Friday March 6, 06:30 GMT
Live on Sky Sports World Cup
MS Dhoni's side completed their third straight win in this tournament with a routine victory over UAE. Sandwiched in between their opening rout of Pakistan, the points claimed against South Africa are starting to look even more significant when you consider how strongly the Proteas have responded.
Little can be read into that most recent win as their opponents folded but it did allow Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin to find some form with the bat and ball respectively and that is a real positive moving in to the close of the group stages.
Despite losing to Ireland and suffering another humiliation at the hands of South Africa, there is plenty of threat in this West Indian side. Most will point to Chris Gayle as the obvious danger after his record breaking 215 but Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy have also found form with the bat. The concern in the top order is the form of Dwayne Smith and the loss to injury of Darren Bravo.
But the key to a recovery in Friday's game lies with the bowling attack and in particular Jason Holder. The new skipper showed maturity and shrewdness in his captaincy against Zimbabwe but in the face of that South African onslaught, his inexperience was exposed. Taking responsibility at the death, Holder went for 104 from his ten overs and he and his bowling unit need to respond positively from a potentially demoralising encounter.
Venue and Conditions
The WACA in Perth hosts its third game of the 2015 World Cup but contrasting first innings scores of 102 and 417-6 clearly give little insight as to what a par total should be. This is a far more evenly matched encounter and with both sides regularly passing 300 so far, they should be looking to push on towards the 350 figure.
There are no expected issues with the weather and while the Aussie pacemen and the Indian spinners have shown - against admittedly weak sides - that there can be something for the bowlers on this surface, this should be something of a run-fest.
Those of us mired in the past still start to twitch when we see a West Indian side priced at 3.02/1 for the win. Then, as we reach for our pockets we realise that Messrs Walsh and Ambrose could probably perform better now than this current attack.
Taking away that customary pasting from South Africa, remember that Ireland looked comfortable as they chased down 304 and even Zimbabwe made 289 inside 45 overs. The exception came as Jerome Taylor and Andre Russell skittled Pakistan but the loss of Sunil Narine is hurting and it's tough to see a repeat performance against India who look a sound bet at 1.491/2.
Top India Batsman
Against the UAE I was torn between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and eventually ended up backing the wrong horse. By the time my selection came to the wicket, Rohit was back in form and the job was one third completed.
A cameo knock in that game suggests that Kohli is continuing the form shown in the opening match against Pakistan and his character indicates that he may well have one eye on the tournament's top batsman positions. I'll therefore keep the faith at a generous 4.1.
Sharma at 4.84/1 and Shikhar Dhawan at 5.14/1 are strong alternatives and I'll admit I am seriously tempted by Suresh Raina who has slipped after a slow start to 8.615/2.
Century in Match
No matter who takes first knock this should be one of the safest bets of the day. Currently priced at 1.9110/11 there could be more than one ton in this game and possibly another 150+ individual score.
Back Virat Kohli to top score for India at 4.1.