• Thursday, July 25, 2024

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India eye revenge against defending champions England in T20 WC semifinal

The last encounter between these teams at this stage saw England dominate India in the 2022 edition’s semi-final.

The winner between India and England will face South Africa in the final of the tournament. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: EasternEye

India, with a new aggressive batting approach, aim to overcome their decade-long knockout stage jitters as they face defending champions England in the T20 World Cup semi-finals on Thursday.

The last encounter between these teams at this stage saw England dominate India in the 2022 edition’s semi-final.

Since that heavy defeat in Adelaide, India have moved away from their conservative top-order approach, becoming a formidable team in this competition. On paper, Rohit Sharma’s team appears stronger for the conditions at the Providence Stadium and are keen on avenging their previous loss.

Spinners have been successful at this venue since the opening game, with India’s Kuldeep Yadav and England’s Adil Rashid eager to showcase their skills. Pacers, too, have found success here, notably Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooqi, who delivered a match-winning spell against New Zealand.

No matches have been played at this venue since June 8, allowing curators extra time to prepare the pitch for this high-profile game. India performed well in the Super 8 stage, but the pressure of a semi-final can lead to unforced errors.

India will rely on runs from Virat Kohli, who has had a quiet tournament by his standards. His opening partner, skipper Rohit Sharma, has set a benchmark with his fearless batting, exemplified by his 41-ball 92 against Australia. This could be the last T20 World Cup for both Rohit and Kohli, who will be eager to make a mark.

Rohit has expressed his intent to attack during powerplays, as seen in the game against Australia. Shivam Dube’s performance in the middle order has been under scrutiny, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against Rashid.

India are expected to remain unchanged, although Yuzvendra Chahal is an option against England’s right-handers like Phil Salt, Jos Buttler, Harry Brook, and Jonny Bairstow. Jasprit Bumrah’s exceptional form poses a challenge for England, and Hardik Pandya’s all-round performance has been crucial for India.

England’s campaign has been bumpy. They struggled in the Super 8s, losing to South Africa before bouncing back. Skipper Buttler’s return to form against the USA, and his familiarity with the Indian attack, could be crucial. His opening partner, Phil Salt, is a quick scorer, and India will aim to dismiss him early.

England expect contributions from Bairstow and Moeen Ali, with Ali’s off-spin potentially useful against India’s left-handers. Liam Livingstone, who can bowl both leg and off-spin, and Rashid’s overs will be significant in the match. Pacer Jofra Archer has performed well since his return from injury, and Chris Jordan’s confidence is high after a hat-trick in the last game.

“Obviously, when we left England a few weeks ago, we left to come and obviously try and defend the title. There’s been a few bumps in the road along the way, but I think you kind of described them as good bumps because they’ve really narrowed down our focus and really made our direction really clear,” said Jordan after the win over the USA.

There is a chance of rain impacting the game, with showers expected in the lead-up to the semi-final and on match day.

Squads:

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

England: Jos Buttler (c), 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, Mark Wood.

(With inputs from PTI)

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