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Lucknow's Ekana Stadium has been quite the rage of late. The stadium acts as the home ground for the Afghanistan Cricket team, and only recently, Lucknowites witnessed the entire Afghanistan vs West Indies series. If you were disappointed that there weren't any exciting matches, then here is a good news for you.

The IPL Season 13 is around the corner and this time, Lucknow's Ekana stadium could be host to a slew of matches. As of now, there is a battle between the two giants- Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab for this very stadium and we're excited to see how things pan out.

What's the update?

It seems that Lucknow's Ekana Stadium will play a major role in IPL Season 13. Two of the major teams Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab are fighting to make Ekana Stadium their second home ground and it something amazing for Lucknowites.

This pretty much confirms the fact that several matches of IPL Season 13 will be held in Lucknow, so be on the lookout for those as the tickets are going to sell real quick. Ekana stadium is a state of the art sports ground and making use of it for the IPL is what we Lucknowites were dreaming about.

As of now, the two teams are anticipating the bidding results, which will pretty much confirm the team that gets the ground. Essentially, what this means is that either Delhi Capitals, or Kings XI Punjab will have quite a few matches here, not to mention the other matches which will also be played here.

Also Read: Did you know: Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium is the world’s 6th largest cricket ground!

Knock Knock

At any rate, this is something of a dream come true for Lucknowites. Ever since the Ekana Stadium came into existence, there has been only one match that involved Indian players. The India vs West Indies T20I match was a rollercoaster ride and we can't wait for more such matches in the IPL season to come.

Cricket as we know it is at it’s peak when it comes to Test Matches. The true grit and potential of a player is put to the limits in this five day format and many believe this to be the quintessential form of the Gentleman’s sport. Till date, there was no such thing as a World Test Championship, but now, the BCCI has decided to shake up the sport as a whole.

The World Test Championship or the WTC, has only recently been introduced and the goal of this is to make Test Cricket relevant once again. This, in a world that’s increasingly drawn towards faster and more entertaining forms of cricket such as ODI and the recently inducted T-20 format.

As part of the new World Test Championship, there will be nine teams that will partake in it. These nine teams will be the top tier teams in international test cricket circuit. Teams such as New Zealand, England, Australia, India, West Indies, South Africa and a few more will be part of the tournament that will span over a period of 2 years.

The tournament will kick off with the Ashes test series that will be played from August 1 to August 5 at Edgbaston. This will be the inaugural match of the World Test Series. In addition to that, each team will play six series- three at their home ground and the other three as visitors to other countries. The series can have up to five matches and teams can get up to 120 total points. Certainly, this will herald a new found interest in Test Cricket format.

At the end of all the matches, the two top teams will face off in a five day final to determine the ultimate test cricket team. We’re excited to see how this new tournament shapes the future of the sport as a whole.

Read this article for ICC World Cup match 42 - Afghanistan vs West Indies game analysis, Afghanistan vs West Indies Dream11 team prediction, match summary, probable XI and more.

Both the teams playing today are technically out of the race, but will still try to get a leg up on the other side. The Afghans have not won even a single match this tournament and West Indies will use that to their advantage. At the same time, Afghanistan have nothing to lose, which is why they’re going to try everything they can.

Afghanistan vs West Indies: With nothing to lose, Afghanistan will push the boundaries against West Indies

In the past few matches, Afghanistan has been rather well performing but luck has not been on thier side. They have lost every single match they played this tournament- mainly because the batters and bowlers are unable to keep up with the competition from the other teams.

Their middle order is something that needs to be worked upon. However, since they have no chance of going forward in the tournament, it is likely that many changes will be made.

As for West Indies, they will try to psychologically thwart Afghanistan’s efforts. The team also has little chance of going ahead with the tournament but they will also put their best foot forward.

Both the bowling and batting department in the West Indies team is rather strong. Their batters are some of the best in the world, but they have not been able to perform well and in sync with the rest of the team. As for the bowlers, they have not made use of the pitch well and that is why they are in their current state.

Afghanistan vs West Indies: Dream 11 top picks

The Afghanistan side does have some great players but are the underdogs in the tournament. From the team, you should pick Hazratullah Zazai, Rashid Khan and Gulbadin Naib. They have a great synergy with the rest of the team and are as consistent as can be. This time, they aim to take the team to new heights.

Over to the West Indies side, they too have some great players. From their team, it would be wise to pick Shai Hope, Sheldon Cottrell and Nicholas Pooran. They are consistent performers in the game and will look to win today's match as it is a do or die situation for their team.

Afghanistan vs West Indies: Match Prediction

Afghanistan vs West Indies: Probable XI

Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (C), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shinwari, Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran/Sayed Shirzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Windies: Sunil Ambris, Chris Gayle, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach/Shannon Gabriel, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell.

Read this article for ICC World Cup match 39 - Sri Lanka vs West Indies game analysis, Sri Lanka vs West Indies Dream11 team prediction, match summary, probable XI and more.

Sri Lanka's World Cup campaign might look to be all but over, but going mathematically, the island nation still have a slim chance of sneaking through to the semifinals provided they win their remaining two games and the results in the other group matches go their way.

Sri Lanka vs West Indies: Sri Lanka in must-win situation vs Windies

Today, the Dimuth Karunaratne-led side will look to give their best against the West Indies who are already out of contention for a place in the knockouts.

Sri Lanka are placed seventh on the points table with six points from seven matches and will need to win their remaining two games besides hoping for favourable outcomes in England and Pakistan's remaining fixtures.

The Jason Holder-led West Indies, on the other hand, have managed just one win from seven outings while one match was washed out. With only three points in their kitty, the two-time former champions have nothing to lose and will aim to finish on a high and spoil Sri Lanka's slim chances of advancing to the semifinals.

Inconsistent batting was the reason behind Sri Lanka's loss to the Proteas and Karunaratne should ask his batsmen to step up as it will be now or never for them. Also, West Indies pose a challenging bowling attack and it won't be easy for the Lankan batsmen to score easily against them.

With a below par batting attack, a lot will depend on the Lankan bowlers to restrict the Windies to a low score. Their bowling will once again be spearheaded by veteran speedster Lasith Malinga. With Nuwan Pradeep's exit from the tournament due to chickenpox, Sri Lanka will rely heavily on Malinga to come good.

The West Indies batting line-up posses some great power-hitters who can destroy even the best bowling attack of the world when on song. Their destructive batting line-up features Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope and Carlos Brathwaite and if any one of them clicks, life would be miserable for the Lankan bowlers.

Their bowling will once again be led by Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and the experienced Kemar Roach.

Both Sri Lanka and West Indies, who are coming on the back of losses against South Africa and India, respectively, have clashed a total of 56 times in ODIs with the Lions winning 25 of them and the Caribbean side emerging victorious on 28 occasions.

Sri Lanka vs West Indies: Dream 11 top picks

The Sri Lankans have a great set of players but they are struggling to find their foothold. From their team, you've got to pick Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera and Lasith Malinga. The players have a great synergy with one another and will look to win this game as their performance has not been up to the mark. The players will certainly put their best foot forward today.

Over to the West Indies side, they too have some great players. From their team, it would be wise to pick Shai Hope, Sheldon Cottrell and Nicholas Pooran. They are consistent performers in the game and will look to win today's match as it is a do or die situation for their team. They will also try their level best to make sure that Russel's absence is not an issue.

Sri Lanka vs West Indies: Match Prediction

Sri Lanka vs West Indies: Squads

West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Chris Gayle, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Ambris, Evin Lewis, Shannon Gabriel, Darren Bravo, Fabian Allen.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kasun Rajitha , Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.

Sri Lanka vs West Indies: Probable XI

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis/Jeffrey Vandersay, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga.

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope (wk), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen/Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.

Read this article for ICC World Cup match 38 - England vs India game analysis, England vs India Dream11 team prediction, match summary, probable XI and more.

It was touted to be the battle of the big boys as India and England were tagged favourites going into the 2019 World Cup. But today, it will be a battle of survival for England as they look to keep their hopes alive of making it to the knockout stages when they take on Virat Kohli and boys at Edgbaston in their second last group game.

England vs India: Focus on India's no.4 as England must win to survive

On paper, the records are stacked in favour of India as the English outfit hasn't defeated them in World Cup encounters in the last 27 years, but then, cricket isn't a game played on paper. With their backs against the wall, Eoin Morgan and his boys can be expected to give it their all as they must win their match against India and then against New Zealand to make it to the semis.

For India though, it will all be about keeping the momentum going as they are all but through to the knockout stages. They need just one point from three games to qualify and considering that their next two games after the England match are against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, it shouldn't be a huge task, especially considering the form that the Men in Blue have shown.

The only concern for India would be the number four slot as Vijay Shankar has failed to make it his own after three attempts at that spot. While he was unbeaten for 15 in the first game against Pakistan, he managed 29 against Afghanistan before getting done for 14 against the West Indies on Thursday.

Considering the importance of the position, the Indian team management could look at trying Dinesh Karthik at that position if they feel that Rishabh Pant isn't cut for the slot.

Apart from that, it all looks good for the Indians as the top-order has done well and the bowlers have been impressive from the word go. M.S. Dhoni's slow knock against Afghanistan did see some pundits raising their voices, but the former India skipper silenced them with his knock against West Indies on a slow track at the Old Trafford on Thursday.

For England, it has been another round of poor shows after starting well. Coming into the World Cup, England were considered favourites and all-rounder Ben Stokes had said that the tag had been earned with consistent performances over the years. But with seven of the nine games done with, the picture doesn't look too bright for the Three Lions.

Morgan's men came back strongly in the next three games as they beat Bangladesh, West Indies and Afghanistan. But that is where the fortune took another turn as they lost to out of touch Sri Lanka by 20 runs.

The loss saw England faced with a situation wherein they needed to win two of their three games against Australia, India and New Zealand. The Australians beat England and from here on, the Englishmen have a simple task. They must win against India and New Zealand.

The absence of Jason Roy has been spoken about as one of the reasons for the team's poor show, but Roy alone cannot be the reason for a team doing so well over the last three years to suddenly flounder.

England vs India: Dream 11 top picks

The home team will look to pull up their socks in the fixture today. Players who can help the team achieve it are two of the top batters- Joe Root and James Vince, both of whom are top run scorers and can hit boundaries like its no big deal. Over to the bowling side, one great player is Jofra Archer, who can manage any kind of pitch. Having them by your side would be a wise choice.

The Indian team seemed at the top of their game the last time we saw them. This time, we hope that they do even better. The players who will be best suited to go up against the English are none other than Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah. Kohli and Sharma are some of the best batters in the world and will certainly give the Windies bowlers a run for their money.

England vs India: Match Prediction

England vs India: Squads

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, M.S. Dhoni, K.L. Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Rishabh Pant

England vs India: Probable XI

England: Jason Roy/James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood.

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Read this article for ICC World Cup match 37 - New Zealand vs Australia game analysis, New Zealand vs Australia Dream11 team prediction, match summary, probable XI and more.

Another high-octane clash in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is on cards as two top contenders for the coveted trophy - New Zealand and Australia - are set to square-off at the historic Lord's Cricket Ground here today.

Presently, both Australia and New Zealand are comfortably placed in the points-table. While defending champions Australia is the only team to have booked a semi-final berth, the Kiwis, who are placed third, are a point away from it.

New Zealand vs Australia: Title favourites Kiwis, Oz set to square-off at Lord's

The Kane Williamson-led New Zealand side had the best possible start to the showpiece event as they were unbeaten in their initial six games before going down against Pakistan. It is their bowling attack which has performed in every game but their batting looks a bit average.

Pacer Lockie Ferguson has led their pace attack after bagging 15 wickets from six games. Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme have not been amongst wickets, however, they both have handed good support to Ferguson after bowling economically. Boult and Grandhomme have nine and five wickets from six games but they have a decent economy of 4.46 and 4.47, respectively. The trio will once again need to replicate their show against an in-form Australian top-order.

In batting, the Kiwis have heavily relied on skipper Williamson and Ross Taylor to bail them out. In their game against Pakistan, batting-all-rounder James Neesham also gave a glimpse of how handy he can be with the bat.

With 414 runs from five innings, Williamson averages 138 and is at the fifth place in the list of leading run-getters. A lot will depend on him against a lethal Aussie pace attack as their top-order have disappointed so far.

As for Australia, they have shown improvement with every passing game. The Aaron Finch-led side have players who can rescue them out of any tricky situations.

Openers Finch and David Warner have been the Kangaroos' main strength. Both are the two top run-getters in this World Cup. While Warner tops the chart of leading run-getters with 500 runs from seven innings, Finch is just four runs short of him from as many games. As a pair, the duo have given great starts to their side.

The bowling has been fantastic so far as their two pacers -- Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins -- have been brilliant. Starc has 19 wickets from seven games while Cummins has scalped 11 from as many games.

Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Lyon have further added some extra depth in their bowling. With such match winners, Australia will aim to strengthen their position at the top while the Kiwis will try to forget their dismal show in their last game and get back to the winning mode again.

New Zealand vs Australia: Dream 11 top picks

The New Zealand team looks rather formidable this time. Players such as Lockie Ferguson, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor are the ones who have take the team to unbeatable victory. In the bowling department, Lockie Ferguson has a great past record and fans expect him to deliver this time. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylors are explosive batters who will give South African bowlers a run for their money.’

Australia, the Kiwi’s biggest rivals are in great form but will still look to put their best foot forward. From the Australian team, you have to pick Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Aaron Finch. Maxwell is a great right hand batter who wields a magical bat. Aaron Finch is also a batsman with lots of power in his hands and his partnership with Maxwell is what we’re looking forward to. As for Mitchell Starc, he will surely make the English batters try out every strategy in their books.

New Zealand vs Australia: Match Prediction

New Zealand vs Australia: Probable XI

New Zealand: Henry Nicholls/Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee/Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson.

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (C), Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon

Read this article for ICC World Cup match 36 - Pakistan vs Afghanistan game analysis, Pakistan vs Afghanistan Dream11 team prediction, match summary, probable XI and more.

Riding high on confidence after two back-to-back wins, Pakistan will look to carry on the winning momentum when they face Afghanistan in their crucial World Cup encounter at Headingley today.

Pakistan vs Afghanistan: Pak aim to continue on winning streak against Afghanistan

A win against Afghanistan will keep Pakistan in the hunt for the semifinal race. With seven points from seven games, Pakistan need to win both their remaining matches and hope for favourable results in matches of other teams too to make it to the top four by the end of the tournament.

After their defeat against India, the Green Brigade had to face harsh criticism, both from fans and former cricketers. However, they kept aside all those negativities and registered thumping wins over South Africa and New Zealand.

Their last win against the Black Caps would have bolstered their confidence immensely, considering the kind of performance they came out with against the Kiwis who were one of the two unbeaten sides in the tournament till then.

Their bowling looks in firm form with Mohammed Amir, Shaheen Afridi and Wahab Riaz all chipping with crucial wickets. Their batting has also been bolstered by the inclusion of Haris Sohail who has contributed heavily in Pakistan's last two wins. Also, with Babar Azam coming to his usual best, one can expect Pakistan to outstage Afghanistan.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, have not been able to register a single win in the tournament so far. Their bowling has looked ok with all their spinners performing. But it's their batting which has let them down in all the matches. The batsmen just have not been able to score and it has been a cause of concern for them.

However, with nothing to lose, Afghanistan would hope to enjoy their game and come out with a surprise win against Pakistan, thus hampering their chances of making it to the knockout stage.

Pakistan vs Afghanistan: Dream 11 top picks

The Pakistani side have a great lineup and the players are consistent as well as in form. Players such as Imam Ul Haq, Babar Raza and Mohammad Amer have taken the team to victory and will look to do the same this time. Imam Ul Haq is a great batsman with a few powerful tricks up his sleeve, while Babar Raza keeps the pace going and balances it out. The players’ reliability is what makes them a wise pick.

Over to the Afghanistan side, they do have some great players but are the underdogs in the tournament. From the team, you should pick Hazratullah Zazai, Rashid Khan and Gulbadin Naib. They have a great synergy with the rest of the team and are as consistent as can be. This time, they aim to take the team to new heights.

Pakistan vs Afghanistan: Match Prediction

Pakistan vs Afghanistan: Squads

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Asif Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman

Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (c), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah (wk), Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Ikram Ali Khil

Pakistan vs Afghanistan: Probable XI

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi.

Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (C), Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shinwari, Najibullah Zadran, Ikram Ali Khil (wk), Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran/Sayed Shirzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Read this article for ICC World Cup match 35 - Sri Lanka vs South Africa game analysis, Sri Lanka vs South Africa Dream11 team prediction, match summary, probable XI and more.

Sri Lanka will aim for nothing but a win to keep themselves alive in the ongoing World Cup when they take on South Africa at the Riverside Cricket Stadium today.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Lanka aim for survival against dejected Proteas

Sri Lanka are currently seventh in the standings with two wins and two no-results, but two points would take them straight up to fifth, just below England, who are themselves in a fight to make the last four now. Just like Pakistan's win over New Zealand opened up the tournament, same would happen if the Lankan Tigers manage to defeat the Proteas.

For that, Sri Lanka will hope for its players to come out with an inspiring performance as they did against England where they defended 233. Lasith Malinga will once again be the key for Sri Lanka's success in what is a do-or-die game for them.

South Africa, on the other hand, would aim to regain some lost pride with a consolation victory against Lanka. Since their debut in 1992, this has been the worst World Cup campaign for the Proteas as they have failed to go even past the group stage. With just a win from seven games, the Faf du Plessis led side are currently placed at the second last spot in the 10-team table.

However, with nothing to lose, South Africa will be eager to prove themselves by winning their remaining two matches and upset the teams that still stand a chance.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Dream 11 top picks

The Sri Lankans have a great set of players but they are struggling to find their foothold. From their team, you've got to pick Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera and Lasith Malinga. The players have a great synergy with one another and will look to win this game as their performance has not been up to the mark. The players will certainly put their best foot forward today.

South Africa too need to pull up their socks. Quinton de Kock is in form and has a great command over the field- he is one of the batters you have to pick. Hitting boundaries is no feat for him and he’ll certainly look to deliver again. From the bowling side, pick Imran Tahir and Kagiso Rabada- both of whom can read the pitch and put up a challenge for the batters on the other team. The South Africans have a strong bowling side so it would be wise to rely on these two to make the best of the pitch.

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Match Prediction

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Squads

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, JP Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi

Sri Lanka vs South Africa: Probable XI

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis (C), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.

Read this article for ICC World Cup match 34 - India vs West Indies game analysis, India vs West Indies Dream11 team prediction, match summary, probable XI and more.

India will aim to continue with their unbeaten streak in the ongoing World Cup when they face a low-on-confidence West Indies team at Old Trafford today.

India vs West Indies: India gear up for Russell-less Windies test

After coming out with commanding performances in their first three World Cup games, the Men in Blue had to toil hard against Afghanistan to earn their fourth victory of the ongoing tournament in their last game.

Riding on Mohammad Shami's hat-trick, India successfully defended a below par total at a sluggish Rose Bowl wicket in Southampton last Saturday.

Against Windies, Shami is likely to retain his place in the playing XI as India are unlikely to risk playing Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was sidelined due to a hamstring injury.

The top-order has performed in all the four completed matches and has been the strength of the Indian team. However, the middle order looked a bit scratchy against Afghanistan and Virat Kohli would want M.S. Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar to get into the groove and perform against the attacking bowling line-up of the Windies.

With nine points from five games, India are comfortably positioned in the top four and require two wins out of the remaining four games to book their place in the semi-finals.

West Indies, on the other hand, come into the match in what is a must-win proposition for them on the back of a heart-wrenching five-run loss to New Zealand. The Jason Holder-led side has been quite inconsistent in the tournament so far. They have had moments of brilliance from individuals like Carlos Brathwaite and Sheldon Cottrell but what they have lacked is the team performance.

The Caribbean team has been unable to perform collectively as a team, a result of which is that they are currently positioned at the eighth spot with three points from six games. They have lost four of their last six games (one ended in no result) and are desperate for a win.

Another concern going into the game against India is the absence of their star hard-hitting all-rounder Andre Russell, who has been ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury.

They will need to come out with a complete performance if they have to beat an inform Indian team and keep themselves alive in the competition.

India vs West Indies: Dream 11 top picks

The Indian team seemed rather lacklustre the last time we saw them. This time, we hope that they give their best. The players who will be best suited to go up against the Windies are none other than Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah. Kohli and Sharma are some of the best batters in the world and will certainly give the Windies bowlers a run for their money.

Over to the West Indies side, they too have some great players. From their team, it would be wise to pick Shai Hope, Sheldon Cottrell and Nicholas Pooran. They are consistent performers in the game and will look to win today's match as it is a do or die situation for their team. They will also try their level best to make sure that Russel's absence is not an issue.

India vs West Indies: Match Prediction

India vs West Indies: Squads

India: Virat Kohli (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav

West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach, Darren Bravo, Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shannon Gabriel, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Shimron Hetmyer, Fabian Allen, Oshane Thomas, Nicholas Pooran

India vs West Indies: Probable XI

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis/Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope (wk), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.