PERTH, Feb 27 (PTI): Having demolished Pakistan and South Africa in their first two matches by dishing out clinical performances, defending champions India would look to complete a hat-trick of victories when they take on minnows United Arab Emirates in their third group league match of the cricket World Cup here tomorrow.
On the field as well as on paper, UAE stand no chance against the world champions who have simply outplayed Pakistan and South Africa in their 76 and 130 run victories respectively.
The batting unit has performed admirably well while the bowlers� performance has surpassed everyone�s expectation in the first two matches. India though will be without the services of pacer Mohammed Shami due to a knee injury, but that is unlikely to make much difference in their bowling show against the UAE.
With the campaign for title defence firmly on track, it will be consolidation time against the UAE as Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men are focused on getting the top spot in Group B, which would enable them play the fourth-placed team of Group A in the quarter-finals.
The match against UAE will give them a chance to record another big win and enhance the net run-rate in case they face a hiccup against the West Indies or Ireland in the later group stages of the tournament.
While Virat Kohli, with a century and 46, is back in touch, Shikhar Dhawan has been in blazing form with a half-century against Pakistan followed by a brilliant career-best ton against South Africa. Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina have also made their fair share of contribution.
With four of the top six batsmen in form, it could be ominous signs for an extremely inexperienced UAE bowling attack, whose collective experience is less than 30 matches.
UAE skipper Mohammed Tauqir, at 43 years 43 days, is the second oldest cricketer in the tournament but has managed to play only seven ODIs having made his debut in 2004 against India in an Asia Cup match at Dambulla. Ironically, their oldest cricketer is former captain Khurram Khan at 43 years and 250 days.
The three pacers, left-armer Asanka Guruge and right-arm medium fast bowlers Mohammed Naveed and Amjad Javed have played less than 10 ODIs and can prove to be a cannon fodder for the likes of Dhawan, Kohli and Rahane.