T20 World Cup: Rain threat looms large as India take on Canada, aim to make it four wins in a row (preview)

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Lauderhill, June 14 (IANS) The rain threat looms large over Lauderhill amidst a flash flood warning in the region as a confident India aim to make it four wins in a row when they face Canada in their last Group ‘A’ match of the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground on Saturday.

With three consecutive wins, India have already qualified for the Super Eight stage, to be held entirely in the West Indies and are well on their way to top the Group A points table, even if rain washes out their match against Canada. But if rain stays away dramatically, then India would be aiming to iron out some chinks before heading into the Super Eights.

Talismanic batter Virat Kohli came into the tournament on the back of being the leading run-getter in IPL 2024, where he amassed 741 runs in 15 matches while opening the batting for Royal Challengers Bengaluru. But in the Men’s T20 World Cup, Kohli has amassed scores of 1, 4 and 0, with his pattern of being out to wide deliveries a cause of concern.

With India moving out of playing on tough drop-in pitches of New York, it would help the side if Kohli gets some knocks and solid game time under his belt at Lauderhill, where the pitches are slow.

They would also like for captain Rohit Sharma to have another fluent knock after making 52 against Ireland, especially with Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav being majorly among the runs for the team. With the ball, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel have been among the key contributors in a well-oiled bowling unit.

On the other hand, Canada have given ample proof of their talent as debutants in the T20 World Cup, including getting a 12-run win over Ireland. Nicholas Kirton has batted with a high strike rate, while Aaron Johnson can also be thrilling with his batting on a particular day.

Dilon Heyliger has been their best bowler and his match-up against Rohit and Virat in the Power-play will be an interesting phase of play should rain relent at Lauderhill on Saturday, in what will also be the first men’s T20I meeting between India and Canada.

Squads:

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj.

Canada: Saad Bin Zafar (captain), Aaron Johnson, Dilon Heyliger, Shreyas Movva (wicketkeeper), Navneet Dhaliwal, Nicholas Kirton, Jeremy Gordon, Junaid Siddiqui, Kaleem Sana, Dilpreet Bajwa, Rishiv Joshi, Kanwarpal Tathgur (wk), Pargat Singh, Ravinderpal Singh and Rayyankhan Pathan.

Match starts at 8 pm on Star Sports (TV) and Hotstar (digital)