T20 WC: India eye title clash setup with Pak as they face Eng

T20 WC: India eye title clash setup with Pak as they face Eng

Adelaide: India will look to rise to the occasion to set up the title clash with Pakistan by beating England in the second semifinal of the ongoing T20 World Cup here on Thursday.
India will look to maintain recent history against England in tomorrow’s encounter. They have won 12 of their 22 T20Is against England, dating back to September 2007.
Out of which, India have batted first in eight of their victories including margins of 90 runs in September 2012, 75 in February 2017 and 50 and 49 this year.
India also hold a 2-1 record over England in T20 World Cups and won by a similar margin in the series contested by these sides in July this year.
Suryakumar Yadav, who arguably is India’s most destructive batsman in a format that isn’t made for introverts, is the thorn in the flesh of England.
SKY’s strike-rate is an astonishing 179.67 in which he gets a boundary in four balls he faces, not in the first powerplay like explosive openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales do, only two fielders are allowed to protect the rope.
Thus, scuttling Suryakumar’s impact is the foremost task cut out for England bowlers. Mark Wood might bowl chest-high bouncers at him, but the ploy to check SKY’s onslaught might be a risky affair, given the short square boundaries at Adelaide Oval.
So often big games are settled by old war-horses like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, whose experience and calmness in the heat makes them relish such situations.
Kohli has been exceptional in this T20 World Cup as he has cracked three half-centuries in the tournament, which has helped India sail to the semifinal stage.
A pragmatist like Kohli and Suryakumar just get the job done, while idealists seek to win by playing the perfect game, making big games like tomorrow’s an exciting affair.
Though Rohit has not not been firing all cylinders at the World Cup, his captaincy will be vital. A natural leader, much was expected after he took over the mantle from Kohli.
Tomorrow, his rich knowledge of English players from a decade’s IPL existence could be the x-factor that could sway India’s way.
And for England, the x-factor in the tournament has been their bowling attack, but that could change with Adelaide having very long straight boundaries and very short boundaries square of the wicket from the crease.
Such disparity might provide opportunities for KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant to target square boundaries, which will leave English bowlers to get the batsmen hitting to the long boundary to counter the risk.
They may hurl fullish length with plenty of yorkers, which is not a trend in T20 format of late which makes the case for Chris Jordan’s inclusion who is a go-to bowler for England in death overs boasting of an ability to hit the blockholes regularly.
Will Jordan get a nod instead of Sam Curran? It is a million dollar question, but England has reached the semifinals without much contribution coming from Dawid Malan’s blades.
Phil Salt might get a look-in, replacing Malan, who is yet to recover from a groin injury suffered during the last match. If the smash-and-grab opener gets a chance, Hales could be pushed down to No. 3 position.
Captain Jos Buttler would be itching to go out tomorrow as he is England’s top-notch scorer against India with 395, in 20 innings with an average of 28.21 and a strike rate of 142.08, with his three half-centuries including a best of 83 not out.
Before coming into the tournament, India’s seam attack obviously appeared weak in Jasprit Bumrah’s absence, but Arshdeep Singh has filled the void magnificently.
The 23-year-old left-armer is leading the way with 10 wickets, who is adept in death overs and enjoys swinging the ball under Australian bowlers-friendly conditions.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has an extraordinary record against Buttler, who he has dismissed five times in 30 balls bowled at him in T20Is.
There is a jinx that has been making loud noise at the Adelaide Oval, issuing warnings that no team has won a men’s T20I here after winning the toss in the last eleven games here.
So, will Rohit call the toss right or Buttler? That does not matter much for players before the match, but could repent over it if one of them loses the match.
Probable XIs
India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant/Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
England: Alex Hales, Jos Buttler (c&wk), Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Phil Salt, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood/David Willey
UNI

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