India’s tournament hopes are hanging by a thread.
After two losses at the start of the Super 12 stage, they had to win all the three remaining games, win those games well, and also hope for other results to go their way.
They accomplished the first of those requirements in their control with an imposing victory against Afghanistan. After a timid batting response in the first two games, the Indian openers helped set up a 200-plus total, with all of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya among the runs.
Next up for them are Scotland.
Since beating a higher-ranked Bangladesh in their opening fixture and coming through the first round undefeated, Scotland haven’t had a win in the Super 12 stage. However, they showed plenty of fight in the previous game against New Zealand to give them a scare. And they are eager for the rare chance to show what they can do against a top side such as India.
“Coming up against a side like India maybe just throws things into a new level, perhaps,” said Kyle Coetzer, the Scotland captain. “The opportunity to try to test yourself against some of the best players in the world is really important for us, it’s an important time for us, a phase in the Cricket Scotland journey, in terms of how we show what we do and show what we’re capable of.”
India have batted first in all of their games so far, and had the worst of the dew while bowling in the second innings. The dew factor could come into play again in Dubai. The stadium has hosted afternoon games over the last couple of days, with the surface being good for batting. It remains to be seen if the conditions change drastically under lights.
India brought in Ravichandran Ashwin in place of the injured Varun Chakravarthy for the Afghanistan game. Ashwin, in his first white-ball game in five years, had fantastic figures of 2/14, and will likely keep his spot. There are still questions about Hardik Pandya’s fitness to bowl, which will give India a much-needed sixth bowling option. The team will likely continue to be flexible with their batting order as per the match situation.
Probable XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (capt), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Scotland will rue the loss of pace bowler Josh Davey, who is ruled out of the tournament with a groin injury. Batter Michael Sole has been approved of his replacement.
Probable XI: George Munsey, Kyle Coetzer (capt), Calum MacLeod, Richie Berrington, Michael Leask, Matthew Cross (wk), Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Safyaan Sharif, Alasdair Evans, Brad Wheal