Ahigh-octane clash 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 made a strong statement with their performance in the Super 12s, winning four out of their five matches and finishing at the top of Group 2. A loss to South Africa was the sole blip in an otherwise consistent group stage showing.
The Indian batters have put on quite a show as well. All of Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have been in strong form and will be looking to take that forward into the knock-outs. But skipper Rohit Sharma has been struggling to get big scores and his team will be hoping he can step up.
On the bowling front, all the three frontline pacers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh have delivered impressive performances as well. All-rounder Hardik Pandya and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin have also made significant contributions with the ball, claiming eight and six wickets in this campaign respectively. Only Axar Patel’s bowling returns have been a matter of concern, with the spinner possessing an economy rate of more than 9 so far. It remains to be seen if India opt to play Yuzvendra Chahal as an additional spin option to target England’s middle order.
England bounced back well after losing to Ireland in the Super 12s. Qualifying for the semi-finals was looking quite difficult when the match against Australia was washed out, but Jos Buttler’s men delivered strong performances against New Zealand and Sri Lanka to make their way into the final four.
The main strength of this English side is their batting, which runs right down to number 10. The line-up is full of power-hitters right from the top, which means they can really run away with the game on decks that are good for batting and venues where the boundaries are short. The Adelaide Oval fulfils both requisites and that’s why this English batting unit could be a very difficult proposition to handle for the Indian bowlers.
England’s bowling unit, which wasn’t rated that highly ahead of the tournament, has stepped up as well. Sam Curran has been a revelation with the ball, particularly in the death. The left-armer is England’s highest wicket-taker in the tournament while going at an economy rate of 6.40. Mark Wood has been relentless with his express pace as well, whereas Ben Stokes has also done a great job to pick up five wickets while going at 5.90 runs per over.
The only concerns surround Chris Woakes and the performance of the spinners. Woakes has been expensive and hasn’t been offering that much wicket-taking threat up front with the new ball. And While Adil Rashid has been quite economical, he has picked up just one wicket in four matches.
England are going into this clash with a couple of injury concerns. Dawid Malan tweaked his left groin in the last match against Sri Lanka while Mark Wood has pulled up with stiffness as well. But both are trying their best to prove their fitness ahead of the clash. If they aren’t available, Phil Salt and Chris Jordan are expected to replace them in the line-up.
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 Indian middle-order batter has been in sensational form in this T20 World Cup. Yadav has already smashed three fifties in the tournament while going at an average of 75 and strike-rate of over 190. He also scored a century in a T20I against England earlier this year and will be eager to deliver yet another good performance in this contest.
Jos Buttler: The England skipper struck form with an excellent knock of 73 from just 47 deliveries against New Zealand recently and will be eager to carry that form forward. Buttler has also scored three fifties in T20Is against India and he will be eager to add one more to his tally in Adelaide tomorrow.
Dream11 Fantasy Picks
Captaincy Pick: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has been in marvellous form in this T20 World Cup. Currently, he is the leading run-scorer with 246 runs to his name in five innings. His highest score in this format is 122* at a strike rate of 200, which came against Afghanistan in Dubai. Notably, the 34-year-old has played 19 games against England so far, and has scored 589 runs at a strike rate of 136.65, with a highest score of 80* in Ahmedabad in 2021.
Must-have Pick: Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav is the third-highest run-scorer in the ongoing T20 World Cup and has risen to the top of the MRF ICC T20 Batting Rankings after a brilliant international career to-date. The 32-year-old has amassed a total of 1270 runs in 39 matches, at an average of 42.32 and a strike rate of almost 180. In July 2022, Suryakumar slammed 117 runs off 55 balls in the third T20I against England in Nottingham. He has played six T20Is against England so far, aggregating 260 runs at a strike rate of 195.48.
Differential Pick: Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler looked out of sorts at the start of the tournament but came back on track when he played a brilliant 47-ball knock of 73 runs against New Zealand in Brisbane. The England wicketkeeper-batter has played 20 matches against India and has scored 395 runs at a strike rate of 142.08, with a highest score of 83*. The 32-year-old has piled up 2496 runs in 101 matches and recently became England’s leading run-scorer in T20Is. He went past his predecessor Eoin Morgan’s tally of 2458 runs.