India Eyes Redemption

On Thursday, all eyes will be on unbeaten India as they take on England in the T20 semi-final in Guyana…reports Asian Lite News

A lot can change for teams in going from one edition of the T20 World Cup to another. For India, who showed sparks of embracing an attacking approach with the bat, only to go back to their timid and conservative approach during the main event in Australia, the ten-wicket shellacking at the hands of England in the 2022 semi-final at Adelaide was a rude awakening.

 It showed them that how regressive they were, with the batting approach compared to England’s attacking display, with the eventual champions going about things fearlessly without having the fear of losing their wickets, as Jos Buttler and Alex Hales finished off the chase with four overs to spare.

After the Adelaide thrashing in November 2022, captain Rohit Sharma embraced an attacking batting approach, which set the tone for India racking up big totals or chasing them down with ease in last year’s ODI World Cup, though it did end in a title clash heartbreak to Australia in Ahmedabad.

Come Thursday, and the world will be eager to know how a relentless and unbeaten-in-the-competition India, with a renewed attacking batting approach, stands up to the challenge of England in a highly-anticipated second semi-final at the Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana.

With rain being a huge threat to this clash with no reserve day (and 250 minutes extra time allotted), a washout in Guyana would suit India more, as it would send them to the title clash at Barbados, and put an end to England’s quest of becoming the first team ever to retain a Men’s T20 World Cup title.

After a fluent fifty against Ireland on an up-and-down makeshift New York pitch, Rohit had a lean run, before dishing out an attacking batting masterclass, ironically against Australia, by hitting 92 runs off only 41 balls, including taking apart Mitchell Starc for 29 in his first over.

As compared to his lofty standards, Virat Kohli is enduring an underwhelming tournament and is due for a big score. With Rohit laying down the marker for attacking batting, expect Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube (who hasn’t been much convincing) and in-form all-rounder Hardik Pandya to follow suit.

If conditions in Guyana remain spin-friendly and offer turn plus low bounce to the spinners, it automatically makes Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja the trump cards for India. Otherwise, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh and Pandya will be banked upon to run through the England batting line-up.

On the other hand, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for England as defending champions. They scrapped their way to Super Eights after rain and Australia stressed them out. In Super Eights, despite a narrow loss to South Africa, they brought out their A-game to thrash a hapless USA by ten wickets.

Captain Buttler and Phil Salt will be the key for England to get a blistering start in power-play. Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali need to chip in with the bat to propel England to a winning total, with the last two players’ services needed in the spin-bowling department alongside in-form leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

England are playing a T20I in Guyana for the first time after 2010, and only Chris Jordan has the recent experience of playing at the venue, that too all the way back in 2019. It makes recent hat-trick taker Jordan and his good friend Jofra Archer key with the ball, alongside left-arm pace of Sam Curran and Reece Topley.

The five games at Guyana in the ongoing tournament have shown a trend of batting being not easy. The average first innings score stands at 146, and runs per over at 6.2, with sides defending winning thrice and chasing teams emerging victorious twice.

19 months after the Adelaide annihilation, the world will get to know – with or without rain – whether India’s changed batting approach and more variety in bowling will get them past England or lead them to yet another heartbreak.


India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj.

England: Jos Buttler (captain & wk), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Tom Hartley, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Reece Topley and Mark Wood

Referee: Jeffrey Crowe

On-field Umpires: Chris Gaffaney and Rodney Tucker

TV Umpire: Joel Wilson

Fourth Umpire: Paul Reiffel

Match starts at 8pm IST on Star Sports (TV) and Disney+ Hotstar (mobile).

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