On Thursday, November 10, India lost the second semi-final to England at the Adelaide Oval by 10 wickets.
On a day when most Indian batters and spinners crumbled under duress, Hardik Pandya was the only bright light. The all-33-ball rounder’s 63 gave the Blues a chance, but they blew it in the second innings.
1. Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin held India’s last hopes as Jos Buttler and Alex Hales helped England reach 63/0 in the power play. The off spinner, who had performed well in the T20 World Cup until against South Africa, wanted to score quickly.
Ashwin’s second delivery in the eighth over beat Buttler’s inside edge. Then the seasoned bowler lost it. Hales swept the fifth ball of his first over over the short square-leg boundary.
Ashwin returned in the 12th over and started well, but his last two balls were hit for 10 runs. Hales tried another slog-sweep before rocking back and cutting a short carrom-ball to the sweeper boundary. England’s opener toyed with Ashwin, ending India’s last chance to win.
2. KL Rahul
Rahul started well by hitting the point boundary off his first delivery, but Chris Wakes easily dismissed him in the second over. The 30-year-old fished at a shortish delivery outside off, only feathering it to Buttler. Since his opening partner was also terrible, his ejection put India under enormous pressure in the power play.
Rahul is constantly nervous on huge occasions and can’t get out of his brain. He refused to dive when the ball required it on the field. Given his difficulties, should Rahul play in India’s strongest T20I team?
India needed early wickets at 168. Bhuvneshwar Kumar had to capitalize on his favorable matchup against Buttler. The swing bowler’s poor start laid the stage for a comfortable run-chase.
Bhuvneshwar missed his lines despite swing. Rishabh Pant came up to the stumps as Buttler walked down the pitch to negate the lateral movement, a tactic that rarely works. Buttler found it simpler to deal with shorter bowling lengths and no outswinger.
Bhuvneshwar’s second over saw Hales join the fun as the pacer finished with 0/25. Rohit’s post-match review noted the 32-year-poor old’s performance under favorable conditions.