A washed out game five at Sydney between India and Australia has placed the ongoing Carlton Mid tri-series at a crucial juncture. India now have two precious points to their name, and are closer than ever to England (5 points) on the points table. Australia, thanks to their unbeaten run in the series, have already qualified for the final and are sitting at the top of the table with 13 points. The sixth ODI game of the series between India and England, which is set to be played on January 30 at Perth, has now become the virtual semi-final of the tournament. The winner of this encounter will face Australia in the final on February 1 at WACA, Perth.
Weather forecast for the all-important game between India and England, at Perth on Friday, is not so promising though. There is a 70% chance of thunderstorms, signaling that the game may be affected by thundershowers. Dhoni and Morgan will thus, keep a close watch on the Duckworth-Lewis score sheet, as the game may boil down to factors like scoring rate and wickets lost. It must be remembered that in case of a washout at Perth, England will qualify for the finals. Other than that, maximum temperature is expected to remain around 35°C while the minimum will stay around 21°C. A decent breeze (around 15 Kmph) from the south-east direction will continue to blow over the region. Conditions won’t be too humid with humidity levels expected to stay around 40%.
Returning to cricket, had India lost their game against Australia at Sydney, England would have cakewalked into the finals as it would have been well-nigh impossible for India to beat England with a bonus point. But the two points which India gained due to the washout have kept them alive in the tri-series. India now need to procure a simple win against England at Perth in order to qualify for the final of the tournament. Moreover, India remain win-less in the series, having lost two games out of the three they’ve played. The men in blue will surely look to taste victory before kick starting their ICC World Cup 2015 campaign.
England looked in control the last time they played against India. English bowlers toyed with the Indian batting thereby registering a thumping victory against Dhoni and his men. Even on the batting front, England look more promising than India. But with Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja back in the side, MS Dhoni may now approach the game with broadened shoulders. But batting continues to remain a concern for India, with Dhawan failing repeatedly at the top order, and Rohit Sharma still nursing a hamstring injury. Ultimately, it will all boil down to MS Dhoni’s experimental prowess to register a crucial win for India against England at Perth. The win may as well set the tone for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2015. Skymet will keep you updated on cricket, weather, and more at the Carlton Mid ODI tri-series.