At around 1:00 PM Australia time, I boarded a flight from Melbourne to Adelaide to cover the second semifinal between India and England which is scheduled to be played at the Adelaide Oval on the 10th November.
While having a sub, I asked myself, when I will make a return to Melbourne on the 11th, how will be my mood? Simply because of late India has struggled to crack code of knockouts. I asked myself, will I be happy, angry, sad, disappointed, or joyful? While answering that question for myself, I also realized that a similar feeling would be heading in every cricket fan’s mind and hence I decided to pen down my thoughts.
I will keep this article as simple as possible so that each person who heads on to read this one, connects with me. Alright! So, let’s answer the most difficult question on which I know I may get some criticism as well but that’s part of job profile, isn’t it? So, the question is – Has India performed well in the tournament so far and are we ready to take on the Englishmen?
Well, if someone wouldn’t have watched matches closely and has just seen the points table – they will say that India has been outstanding with winning 4 out of 5 games in the league stages and topping group 2. But the question here is – was team India actually clinical? Sadly, the answer remains no.
Thankfully, me along with many more Indian journalists are still sitting in the Adelaide, sipping coffee, and watching some amazing sunsets with little cold breeze – but the fact still remains that Indian team hasn’t played best brand of cricket yet.
What makes you say that? That’s the thought going in your head currently, right? Alright, let me answer it for you. Let’s start with India’s first league game. 23rd October, a day before the most celebrated festival in India, Diwali, India played a game against the arch-rivals Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne.
90,000 plus spectators in the stadium, chanting for India and Pakistan. In an electric atmosphere, India saw themselves 4 down for mere 31 runs on the board. Thankfully, Virat Kohli stood strong and single handedly won a game which absolutely nobody would have expected to go in India’s favor.
Against Netherlands, our top order again didn’t fire and thankfully again Virat Kohli and Suryakumar clicked to get India to a defendable total.
Against South Africa, our batting again didn’t click and we lost that game. Against Bangladesh, it was all about Virat Kohli and against Zimbabwe, it was all about Suryakumar Yadav again.
If something is common between all these games, that’s Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav. And let’s be honest, if both wouldn’t have fired, India would have been occupying third or may be fourth position on the points table.
Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli together have scored close to 80% of total runs scored by team India in this T20 World Cup. Can you believe it? 80%.
That’s not all, even after 5 matches, India isn’t sure whether they are fielding their best 11. They have tried Deepak Hooda, they have dropped Dinesh Karthik and Axar Patel, they have not played Yuzvendra Chahal as yet – so problems are many.
Now, going into the knockout stages, with playing 11 not sort, dependability on Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav being much, and dropping experience over hard hitting – it’s fair to say that we are not 100% ready for the game.