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India bat against West Indies in World Cup match

India captain Virat Kohli © AFP/File / Dibyangshu SARKAR

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Jun 27 – Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat against the West Indies in Manchester on Thursday as India look to move closer to wrapping up an early World Cup semi-final spot.

The two-time champions, who are unbeaten in their six outings so far, including a washed-out game, fielded an unchanged side after their narrow victory against Afghanistan.

Kohli urged his team to fine-tune the rough edges so they are more ruthless.

“It looks like a hard wicket. We’ve got two wrist-spinners. It’s a used pitch so we see it drying out and slowing down in the latter half of the match,” Kohli said at a sunny Old Trafford.

“I want more application from the batsmen. When it’s a 50/60-run partnership, we want the batsmen to work hard on making it a big one so the opposition can’t get back into the game.”

West Indies, who have managed just one win from six games, have made two changes to their starting line-up after their heartbreaking five-run defeat to New Zealand on Saturday.

Injured Evin Lewis and Ashley Nurse make way for Sunil Ambris and Fabian Allen.

Skipper Jason Holder admitted he would have batted first had he won the toss but said the bowlers should take early advantage of the Old Trafford wicket.

“We wanted to bat too but if there’s anything in the wicket it’s probably first up,” he said. “We are getting closer and closer. I’ve challenged the guys to put together a complete game.”

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India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wkt), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah

West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Chris Gayle, Shai Hope (wkt), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Ambris, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG), Richard Illingworth (ENG)

TV umpire: Michael Gough (ENG)

Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)

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