Adelaide, November 9
India cannot afford to put a foot wrong as they square off against a formidable England side on a tricky Adelaide Oval track in their T20 World Cup semifinal tomorrow.
England’s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes has already admitted that they have not played their best cricket, and the Indian team needs to ensure that Jos Buttler and Stokes don’t choose the semifinal to bring their
A game to the fore.
History is also against India when it comes to the business end at the ICC events. India have struggled to cross the final two hurdles on four occasions — the 2014 T20 World Cup final, 2016 T20 World Cup semifinals, 2017 Champions Trophy final and 2019 ODI World Cup semifinals.
England too have their share of bitter memories. Their last World Cup match at the ground saw Bangladesh knocking them out of the 50-over tournament in 2015. However, that has proved to be a turning point, with England reaching the semifinals or better at every World Cup since.
These guys are quite dangerous. They’ve played some really good cricket in the tournament as well, which is why they’re here. So we’ve got to be at our best to win the game. —Rohit Sharma, india skipper
- 2-1 India lead the head-to-head record in T20 World Cup matches against England by 2-1. The Men in Blue won the battles in 2007 and 2012 but lost in 2009.
- 11.90 Though India have been among the slowest starters, no team has scored at a faster rate in the final four overs than their figure of 11.90 runs per over.
“There’s some moments or memories that will not always be good ones, unfortunately,” said Buttler, who played in the 2015 defeat along with several current teammates.
While England sweat on the fitness of key players, India’s sole selection dilemma is whether to bring back Dinesh Karthik as wicketkeeper or stick with Rishabh Pant as a left-handed batting option to counter England’s spinners.
With short square boundaries, it makes the toss crucial and batting first becomes all the more important. The battle at the death is also likely to be important, if not decisive, in the teams’ first meeting in the tournament’s knockout rounds given England’s bowlers and India’s batters have been standouts in the final overs.
With a rejuvenated Virat Kohli and the marauding Suryakumar Yadav in ominous form, England’s bowlers may have their hands full against India’s heavy hitters. The likes of Sam Curran, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes will face their biggest test against the firepower of India.
Kohli may be jumping out of his skin to take strike in Adelaide, where he has scored five hundreds and three fifties across 14 innings in all formats. He would like to get the better of his old nemesis Adil Rashid, while Yadav’s 360-degree skills against Curran’s cutters will be an enticing match-up.
“We have done one part of it really well. There are two more parts to go. But tomorrow is going to be one part of it where we have to play well to get the result,” India skipper Rohit Sharma said. — Agencies
Pitch & conditions
It will be a used pitch, but it was last used on November 4 for the match between Australia and Afghanistan. Chasing upon winning the toss might be a good idea, though much of the week leading up to this match has been quite hot so there might be more pace. The forecast is fine.
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