• Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Former England captain Collingwood can’t see India losing T20 World Cup semis

The Three Lions had walloped Men in Blue by 10 wickets in the semi-final of the 2022 edition played in Adelaide, Australia, and went on to lift the trophy.

India captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup 2024 Super Eight match against Australia at Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia, on June 24, 2024. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

ENGLAND will have to produce an extraordinary performance to beat an in-form India in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup 2024 on Thursday (27), former Three Lions captain Paul Collingwood has said.

According to the former all-rounder who led England to their maiden T20 World Cup crown in the West Indies in 2010 and has coached the England national team, said the ‘Men in Blue’ are unlikely to lose the grudge match against the defending champions.

Thursday’s high-voltage clash at the Providence Stadium in Guyana will be a repeat of the semi-final of the 2022 edition in Adelaide in Australia where Jos Buttler’s side thrashed Rohit Sharma’s men by 10 wickets to make the finals and lift the crown for the second time. 

“Honestly, I can’t see India losing this time. England will need something extraordinary to beat them,” Collingwood said on Star Sports Press Room.

Read: Afghanistan make T20 World Cup semifinals for first time; Australia eliminated

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been in sensational form with teams including the likes of former champions Australia and Pakistan struggling to score against him.

Collingwood, 48, reckons the pacer’s four overs would decide the complexion of the game.

“India, with their well-rounded squad, stands out particularly for Jasprit Bumrah’s current form. He’s fit, accurate, fast, and highly skilled. No team seems to have an answer for him. In a 120-ball game, having someone like Bumrah with his pace for 24 balls makes a huge difference. India has looked confident even in tough situations and on difficult pitches in America.

Read: India beat Australia to march into T20 World Cup semifinals; to meet England

“Their batters, like Rohit Sharma who played a magnificent innings against Australia, seem to be back in form,” he added.

The pitch in Guyana has favoured the bowlers in the past by slowing down as the game goes on.

Spinners have dominated at this venue, and the pacers get some help early on but teams have reached scores of 170-180 in the ongoing World Cup.

“The match-up will be magnificent, with both sides adopting an ultra-aggressive approach. The surface in Guyana will be crucial. On a flat pitch, England has the upper hand with their ability to overpower teams. However, a slow, turning pitch would favour India.”

Collingwood feels India have moved on from their conservative approach, which led to their downfall at the 2021 edition.

“The previous plan was to attack India aggressively from the start. However, a team like India can’t be surprised by that tactic. In 2022, when India batted first, we knew we could restrict them. Back then, India played conservatively, especially in the first 10 overs, and then tried to catch up later.

“But India’s approach has changed. They understand that this strategy won’t win World Cups. They need to take risks, be brave, and express themselves freely.

“This new mentality might be criticised if it fails, but to win World Cups, you need to be ahead of the curve and adapt to what other teams are doing globally.”

England were 45 minutes away from getting knocked out of the group stage but have since made a strong case for themselves.

“England has a knack for raising their game in knockouts. They somehow manage to play freely without any pressure. I remember the Adelaide match where India set the target.

“Now, England plays a more aggressive style, especially at the top order, when setting their own totals. This makes their upcoming match against India even more dangerous,” Collingwood said. 

India have remained unbeaten in the tournament so far with wins over Ireland, Pakistan, the United States, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Australia.

England, on the other hand, lost to Australia and South Africa but beat the West Indies and low-ranked teams such as Oman and Namibia. Their game against Scotland was washed out.

(With PTI inputs)

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