An exciting contest is on the cards as India take on England in the second semi-final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Adelaide on Thursday.
India had an excellent outing in the Super 12 as they won four out of their five matches and finished at the top of Group 2. They delivered clinical performances in all matches except in the one against South Africa, where they were completely outplayed. But that loss didn’t deter the Indian team from the process and they kept the spirit and confidence to make it to the semi-finals.
The batting has clicked big time. Three of the top four batters in KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav have been in form. Skipper Rohit Sharma has struggled a bit but he is expected to bounce back in this big match. The bowlers have delivered as well and will be expected to carry their good form forward into this important match.
England, on the other hand, bounced back well after their loss to Ireland in the Super 12s. They took down strong Sri Lankan and New Zealand sides in their final two matches to make their way to the semis. Their real strength is their batting line-up, which runs deep. But the bowlers have stepped up as well and have delivered some superb performances. They will be eager to repeat the same against India to make their way to their third T20 World Cup finals.
Jos Buttler’s men do have a few injury concerns, though. Both Dawid Malan and Mark Wood are doubtful for this encounter. Malan tweaked his left groin during the match against Sri Lanka, whereas Wood has pulled up with general stiffness. But Buttler mentioned in the pre-match press conference that both players are trying their best to get fit before the match. There are no reported injuries in the Indian camp right now.
Predicted Playing XIs
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Alex Hales, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Dawid Malan/Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood/Chris Jordan
Suryakumar Yadav: The middle-order batter has been in sublime form in this T20 World Cup. He has 225 runs to his name so far, including three fifties. Suryakumar is averaging 75 while scoring at a strike-rate of over 190 and he also scored a century against England earlier this year.
Jos Buttler: The England skipper struck form with an excellent knock of 73 against New Zealand recently. He also has three fifties to his name in T20Is against India and will play a pivotal role in this match as well.
Both are very strong sides with quality in both batting and bowling departments. But India’s bowling side is a bit stronger and that gives them the edge in this contest.