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T20 WC: What Went Wrong During India – England Semifinal?

Adelaide [Australia]: India succumbed to a ten-wicket defeat to England during 2nd Semi-final. With this, another loss was added to a list of cricketing heartbreaks of team India fans.

India had plenty of great moments with both ball and bat in the tournament. But their journey once again saw them giving in to the pressure of big stages. Let us see what went wrong:

1). Lack of utilization of powerplay
India posted 168/6 in their 20 overs. It is a solid, competitive total for a T20 WC semifinal. But it is not a great one on a batting-friendly surface like Adelaide Oval, where India’s star batter Virat Kohli has scored heaps of runs.

The score of 168 was only possible due to the all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s late fireworks. He ended with 63 off 33 balls and had a 61-run stand with Virat Kohli (50 off 40 balls). ‘

But a similar intent was not visible during the powerplay, a period during which batters try to make most of the fielding restrictions of only two fielders outside the 30-yard circle. While England hammered Indian bowlers from ball one to reach 63/0 at the end of the powerplay in six overs, India could manage only 38/1 in their first six overs. The evident run-a-ball approach of Men in Blue backfired during a phase where players let their arms loose.

2). Lack of early wickets
The struggles during batting put India in difficulty. The total was competitive and getting some early wickets, especially those of skipper Jos Buttler and Alex Hales could have put England under pressure.

But these wickets did not come. Skipper Rohit Sharma pointed out during the post-match presentation, “The way we started with the ball was not ideal. We were a little nervy. When Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) bowled the first over it swung today, but not from the right areas.

“We wanted to keep it tight, not give room because the square of the wicket was an area we were aware of – that is where the runs came today.”

“If we keep it tight and the batsman still score runs, we will take it. But we did not do that today.”

3). Lack of a strike bowler
In their group stage run, India used Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh and their ability to generate movement with the ball to get early wickets through power play. While the Indian team’s strategy for the middle overs focused on spin, bowling into the pitch and later bringing back pacers in death overs.

It was a strategy similar to England. But both the attacks failed to get wickets and looked toothless. India today felt the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, their usual pace spearhead. India did not have a banker of an option that Rohit could utilise.

Pacers Bhuvneshwar, Ravichandran Ashwin and Pandya were smacked for more than ten-an-over. Axar Patel was also hit for 30 runs and even Arshdeep failed to get those early wickets which the youngster got consistently in the group stage.

With this, the final between England and Pakistan is set.

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