India need to bolster its lower batting order, feels Clive Lloyd

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Kolkata: Former West Indies cricketer Clive Lloyd during a practice session at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on March 8, 2016. (Photo: IANS)

Birmingham:  West Indies legend Clive Lloyd feels India will have to strengthen their lower order batting before they advance into the knockout stage of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

PLaced second in the 10-team standings with 11 points from seven matches, India is on the verge of entering the semi-finals of the showpiece event. The table is led by defending champions Australia, who are already through to the next stage with 14 points.

The Men in Blue’s middle-order however, have struggled so far in the tournament. In their last clash against hosts England on Sunday, India needed 71 from the last five overs but could only manage 39, despite the presence of power-hitters like M.S. Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav in the middle.

“India have a selection dilemma. England played the right kind of game against them by attacking the spinners and they need to strengthen their batting lower down the order,” Lloyd wrote in his column for the ICC.

Lloyd, who led West Indies to two World Cup victories in 1975 and 1979, meanwhile, also praised India and Australia for reading the conditions well in England. “Australia are already assured of a place in the semi-finals and India are likely to join them. They have been the two stand-out teams for me at this World Cup. They have understood the conditions better than any of the others and have strolled through. That is the key here,” he opined.

“The wickets in this tournament have been excellent … Australia and India are at home on them and that will be so important when it comes to the knock-out games,” Lloyd added.

West Indies had a poor World Cup campaign after losing six matches out of eight and bowed out of the World Cup early and speaking on the Carribean team, Lloyd felt the side needs to learn from their mistakes.

“When you look at it, we (West Indies) have the talent with the bat. It’s far from doom and gloom. Sure, we have to learn from the mistakes and rectify them but I am very optimistic. We have had two centurions at the tournament and it really could, and should, have been four or five,” he expressed.

West Indies will take on a winless Afghanistan in their last group match on Thursday.

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