Fresh from their good showing in the Super 12s, India will be in a confident frame of mind when they take on England in the T20 World Cup semi-final at the Adelaide Oval at 1.30 PM IST on Thursday.
India came through unscathed from the group, except for the loss against South Africa, while England, who were shocked by Ireland in the Super 12s, managed to edge out Australia on the net run rate.
Both teams boast of some explosive batters and world class bowlers, leaving the fans all excited for the big clash.
India need Rohit Sharma to come good against England after a below-par showing with the bat so far. He has made just one half-century (vs The Netherlands) while he has not got past the 20-run mark in the other four innings.
His partner K L Rahul also struggled to get started, but has got back on track with back to back fifties against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav have shouldered the responsibility in the middle order, but Hardik Pandya’s poor form with the bat is a worry with 65 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 101.
Dinesh Karthik made way for Rishabh Pant after a few failures, but the left-hander also fell cheaply against Zimbabwe. It remains to be seen if India bring back Karthik, who has been the designated finisher in the last few months, or give the left-handed Pant another chance against England.
With Hardik and Axar Patel struggling for runs, India may need someone like Karthik, who has enjoyed a fair bit of success as the finisher, hence the balance tilts slightly in his favour ahead of Pant.
Axar has struggled with both bat and ball and could make way for leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who surprisingly hasn’t got any game time. Strangely, the team management didn’t try him out against Zimbabwe even though they had already secured qualification for the semis.
India will expect more from Ravichandran Ashwin, whose six wickets include five against Zimbabwe and The Netherlands, at an economy rate of 7.52. He will have a big role against the dangerous left-handers in the England team, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali.
The pace trio has done a wonderful job so far. Arshdeep Singh has excelled in his maiden World Cup with 10 wickets in five games, with good support from the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has built the pressure with some tight bowling from his end.
Mohammed Shami has done a good job, whenever he has been called up — whether it is in the Powerplay, middle overs or the death overs.
Likely XI: Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant/Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh.
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