India eye beating Zimbabwe to sail into T20 WC semis

India eye beating Zimbabwe to sail into T20 WC semis

Melbourne: India will look to finish at the pole position by beating Zimbabwe in their last group encounter at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday to sail through to the semifinals of 2022 T20 World Cup.

If India finishes at the top, they will face England in the semifinals at batting-friendly Adelaide.

In case India loses the match, Pakistan will get a leeway to sneak into the semifinal by beating Bangladesh in their last Super 12 group match with better NRR.

If South Africa wins against Netherlands, they will make it to the semifinals with seven points, but if they lose and Pakistan wins, then the latter will storm into the semifinals along with India.

Australia are already out of the contention as England defeated Sri Lanka.

All the top Indian batsmen have clicked in the tournament so far, except Captain Rohit Sharma who has managed just 74 runs in four games, a below par performance compared to his prowess as a world class batsman.

However, Rohit has always delivered in big matches and would like to plunder runs off Zimbabwe bowling attack and get a big one under his belt in a must-win match here on Sunday.

The imperious Virat Kohli, opener KL Rahul and belligerent Surya Kumar Yadav have hit purple patches, especially Rahul who has had a poor run in the tournament. His coming back to form is very vital for India to give a rollicking start in the top order along with his captain.

Comparatively Zimbabwe’s batting hasn’t clicked in the tournament, but it would be interesting to see how they cope up to pacers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammad Shami, who have been red hot with their performance on lively and bouncy Australian pitches.

The only exception has been Ravichandran Ashwin, who has been struggling to be among wickets on pitches that hardly are helping finger spinners and bowling with Kookaburra balls is a tough proposition.

The biggest threat awaiting the Indian players is Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza, who is Ricky Ponting’s pick and has decimated almost all bowlers, would like to finish on a high.

The USP of tomorrow’s match is the suspense over the outcome as both the teams haven’t played in T20 World Cups over the years, and Zimbabwe’s reputation of party poopers in this world cup. They had upset Pakistan in the Super 12 group match.

Will the Zimbabweians script another upset win against India? To find out, watch the game tomorrow which is a Sunday and make it a grand viewing.

Squads:

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant, Depak Hooda, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Zimbabwe: Regis Chakabva (captain), Sean Williams, Sean Ervine, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chatara, Luke Jongwe, Brad Evans, Wesley Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Tony Munyonga, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani, Multon Shumba.

Match Starts: 1:30 pm

UNI

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