T20 World Cup 2024, ENG vs IND, 2nd Semi-Final, Match Report, 27 June 2024

India 171 for 7 (Rohit 57, Suryakumar 47, Jordan 3-37) bowled England 103 (Brook 25, Kuldeep 3-19, Axar 3-23) by 68 runs

India is on track to win a world title. It’s been 11 years since she stood on the podium as champion. Now, he only has a few hours of play and a fiery South African team left to win it.

Rohit Sharma and his men dismantled defending champions England in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2024, bowling them out for a mere 103 after first bowling them out to make 171 in Providence, Guyana. The Adelaide 2022 imbalance has been reversed.

Tactical battle in difficult conditions

On a pitch like Guyana’s, where the pace is slow and the bounce is low, straight runs and runs behind the wicket are very expensive. Indeed, if a bowling unit is disciplined enough to hit a good length and keep the stumps in play, the batsman simply cannot force the pace. England had planned to close half of the outfield to India, but they did not always succeed: 69 runs, including eight fours and three sixes, still came from where they should not have, at a strike rate of 192.

Rohit and Risk

During the powerplay period, Rohit was scoring at a strike rate of 133 with shots that were completely out of his control. For context, his overall career strike rate in T20Is is 141. That is the difference India were looking for. Don’t just wait for the bad ball. Batte as if everything is a bad ball.

Rohit finally settled down. Since the fourth over, he had control of 20 of the 26 balls and he used that control to great effect, scoring 40 runs, including four fours and two sixes. He accepted that risk is part of T20 cricket and there is no reason to be averse to it.

Rashid’s recovery

India’s intent showed in the form of their batting moving around the crease. Even a bowler of Adil Rashid’s caliber struggled to get out of it and it was a triumph because these were conditions where, as a bowler, all you had to do was hit a length to target the top of the stumps. The English player had a record of 2-0-17-0. But he recovered. On the other side of the second rain break, which consumed 153 minutes of this match’s time in total, Rashid decided not to worry about where Rohit and Suryakumar were positioned and instead started maintaining a line on the stump. His reward was the Indian captain’s wicket for 57 off 39. Rashid’s last two overs lasted just eight runs.

Spin is king

With Rashid being run out in the 14th over, India held back Shivam Dube thinking the quicks would gain the upper hand. So Buttler found a reason to put pressure on Liam Livingstone, trusting his right-hand man even at the end. The part-time player finished with figures of 4-0-24-0. It was a sign. If he turns out to be untouchable, Axar, Kuldeep and Ravindra Jadeja would also be untouchable. India’s spin-bowling all-rounders also played a role in taking them to 171, along with Hardik Pandya, as they hit three sixes and two fours in the last two overs bowled by Jordan and Archer.

Axar ticket office

Guyana is spinner friendly. The schedule, as soon as it was announced, suggested that India would play there in the semi-final. They filled their team with spinners. Three of them found a place in the XI. Each of them took turns playing jaffas.

Axar changed the game. He came into the game immediately after Jos Buttler hit Arshdeep Singh for three fours in an over and with his very first ball eliminated the biggest threat. The England captain came down to reverse sweep the left-arm spinner because really in those conditions, one could not just sit back and play direct shots. Rohit found the boundary when he took that risk earlier. Buttler found only a toe-spinner to Pant.

Each of Axar’s first three overs had a wicket off the first ball. Jonny Bairstow once again opted to stay on the leg side and get bowled, and Moeen Ali’s England career could end with him unsure of where the ball had gone only to realize that it was right there in Pant’s hand as he broke the stumps.

Kuldeep’s Redemption

England were 49 for 4 when Kuldeep entered the picture, disconcerting Sam Curran and then outscoring Harry Brook. England were the team that fell him so badly that he found himself in a difficult situation after the 2019 ODI World Cup. Here, against a batsman chasing him, and with unconventional shots in Plus, he didn’t panic. Kuldeep saw Brook fall for a reverse sweep, so he moved the line onto the leg stump and left it in a tangle, the flatter trajectory and faster pace also playing a part in the ball avoided the swing of the bat and crashed into the stumps behind.

In a further sign of their impending defeat, England’s last recognised batter, Livingstone, was run out after a mix-up with the lower order. The defending champions surrendered their crown, with six of them hitting single-figure scores and none going over 25.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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