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India will look to regain peak form against Windies

cricket Updated: Mar 19, 2011 15:28 IST

PTI
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Their chances of making the quarterfinals hardly at risk, India would look to make up for the rather unconvincing campaign so far with a dominating performance against the West Indies in their final group B match of the cricket World Cup here tomorrow.

Winning the final Group B encounter is important for India to not just be absolutely sure of a quarterfinal berth but also to regain the confidence that was dented by the narrow loss to South Africa in their previous preliminary match.

Apart from their bowling and fielding problems, the Indians have not been able to find the right combination so far and the team management will need to give a serious thought to the composition of the team.

The game on Saturday also assumes significance because of a personal milestone that senior Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar could achieve.

The iconic batsman is just one short of his 100th international hundred and Indian fans will be hoping that he would be able to achieve the feat tomorrow.

The Mumbai batsman already has 51 Test hundreds from 177 matches and 48 centuries from 449 ODIs. Chepauk is also one of his favourite grounds, having made five centuries in 14 Test matches but it would be his first in limited-overs cricket if he manages to strike it tomorrow.

Despite the uproar over the team's lacklustre display so far (three wins, a tie and a loss), India is certain to find a quarterfinal berth even if they lose tomorrow due to superior net run rate.

Only South Africa have made the last-eight stage from the group, which opened up after England's loss to Ireland and Bangladesh.

The other three quarterfinal places will be decided among India and England (both seven points) and West Indies and Bangladesh (both six points).

However, India is better placed among the four as only a loss by a huge margin to West Indies could knock them out on net run rate.

And India can consider themselves lucky as they will be playing the last league tie in the event and would know before the match what they need to do to clinch a quarterfinal berth.