The Namibia game would have been India’s ticket to the semi-finals had Afghanistan emerged victorious today, but New Zealand’s triumph means that Monday’s encounter will be a dead-rubber with no significance.
It will, nevertheless, be a chance to sign off on a high for Virat Kohli, who, tomorrow, will be captaining India in T20 Internationals for the final time.
Head to Head
Monday will be the first instance of India clashing with Namibia in a T20 International. The two sides have never met before in the shortest format.
The two sides will lock horns with each other in Dubai, and it is a venue that India are very familiar with, having played three of their four games so far in this World Cup at the Dubai International Stadium. In sheer contrast, Monday’s clash will be Namibia’s first match in Dubai in this World Cup. This factor alone should give the Men in Blue a significant edge, let alone the fact that they are a superior side.
And there is little doubt that the captain that wins the toss will be aiming to chase. So far in this World Cup, quite astonishingly, all but one match in Dubai has been won by the team chasing. And even that match was mighty close, with Scotland falling short by just 16 runs in their pursuit of 173 against New Zealand. India chased here against Scotland, and no doubt will be looking to do the same against the Erasmus-led Namibian side.
The average batting-first score in Dubai in this World Cup has been just 122, and the last two games saw the batting-first sides post 85 and 79 respectively. The wicket is by no means that bad, and the low-scores were due to the disparity in the quality of the teams, but come Monday, once again, there is every chance that the toss could end up deciding whether the game will be a low or high-scoring encounter.
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Ravindra Jadeja has been sensational with the ball in this T20 World Cup, having averaged 21 and having conceded just over 6.5 RPO, and against Scotland, he bowled arguably one of his best ever spells. Jadeja choked the batters in the middle by conceding just 15 runs, but also, more impressively, picked up three wickets and dented the Scottish batting line-up. Given Namibia struggled against the left-arm spin of Santner in their previous encounter, it would be a smart decision to make Jadeja captain; he could very well wreak havoc two games in a row.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Jadeja to take 1-2 wickets and score 15-23 runs
KL Rahul looked close to his best against Afghanistan, but in the Scotland encounter, the gifted right-hander launched an assault that made the entire cricketing fraternity drop its jaw. 18 balls was all Rahul took to get to his fifty, and he brutalized the Scottish bowlers without mercy, bludgeoning every single ball that he faced. Expect the 29-year-old to play with a similar mindset come Monday.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Rahul to score between 30-44 runs
Ravichandran Ashwin hasn’t put a foot wrong in this T20 World Cup so far, and while he was not at his very best against Scotland, the veteran offie still managed to pick a wicket while building pressure. Ashwin might not possess the same mystery as Varun Chakravarthy, but the 35-year-old is still as big a wicket-taking threat, if not more.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Ashwin to pick between 1-2 wickets
With 5 wickets to his name, Jasprit Bumrah is the second-highest wicket-taker for India in this World Cup but he has, by some distance, been the side’s best bowler. And it was he who started the carnage against Scotland by setting the tone by dismissing opposition skipper Kyle Coetzer. Namibia are a side who do not play express pace too well, so fully expect Bumrah to trouble the Namibian batters on Monday.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Bumrah to pick between 1-2 wickets
India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Chakaravarthy, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Namibia: Stephan Baard, Craig Williams, Gerhard Erasmus (c), David Wiese, JJ Smit, Zane Green (wk), Michael van Lingen, Karl Birkenstock, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Ruben Trumpelmann, Bernard Scholtz