This article was first published on ThirdManCricket.com
India and the United Arab Emirates have enjoyed close cultural ties for a very long time. Over a million Indians call UAE home and have contributed greatly to its success. However, once these two nations come face-to-face on the cricket pitch, there will never be a greater gulf in class. After putting up brave fights against Zimbabwe and Ireland, UAE will surely be no match for an Indian squad that has surprised many with their revival.
UAE have shown their inexperience in both matches, throwing away what would be considered winning positions for most sides. They have done the associate nations cause no harm though, with impressive performances from Shaiman Anwar and skipper Mohammad Tauqir thus far contributing to even more criticism of the ICC’s plans to eliminate the associate nations for the 2019 edition. What UAE can draw motivation from, is that this will be their chance to impress their largest audience on and off the field.
India, on the other hand will probably look to tinker with their lineup to maintain freshness and get a look in at their entire squad. Mohammed Shami has a very minor knee issue and so Bhuvneshwar Kumar should get his first World Cup game. Perth is a ground that favours pace as well so it will be interesting to see if Stuart Binny can squeeze into the playing eleven. Ashwin has already shown his worth and it might be a good opportunity to for him to relax and look ahead to the West Indies. If Rayudu were to get in as well, it will most likely be at the expense of Ajinkya Rahane, who has nothing left to prove.
If India bat first, they will definitely look to atone for their previous two performances in the last five overs of the innings. If they do, UAE will be looking at a very long day in the sun. If the roles are reversed and UAE bat first, we could be looking at one of the shortest matches of the tournament.
Rahul Ravikrishnan is a writer for Third Man Cricket.
Third Man Cricket is an online cricket website founded by two self-described die-hard Indian cricket fans based in New York and Portugal. Their love for the game in non-traditional cricketing locations led them to establishing the website to promote passion for cricket in those countries. Third Man Cricket has developed into a multi-country, multi-team focused cricket blog, from interviews with players to match previews and coaching clinics.