It was once again Kohli in the top order and Dhoni & Pandya in the last phase of the match. Although India won the match, the middle order still looks shaky and not played up to the mark.
Indian middle order should pull their game up and need to stand up in the coming three matches before India play their semifinal. Shankar should rethink about his game and should start playing well if he gets another chance in the match vs England. Jadhav failed in this match but he played well in the last game and need to be more consistent.
Rahul who is starting the innings well but not able to score big. In last 2 to 3 years, India opening partnership is always good and either of the openers played a big innings and then Kohli used to take the innings deep enough to make a big score. So, Rahul should look to play big when Rohit gets out so that the entire pressure will not be on Kohli and middle order. Well made 48 today but he needs to press one more gear to really help India to get to a good start.
Everyone criticized Dhoni for his innings in the last match but today he proved why such innings are important and crucial in the match. He started slow but at the end he makes sure that he play till last ball and score big. He is always a calculated cricketer and knows how to frame his innings. 2 out 10 may fail but he makes sure that India will reach to a reasonable target or win in 8 out of 10 matches. The main thing is there is no proper batsman after Dhoni which makes him to play like that. He does not have the liberty to go big and if he gets out, there will be no other person to take care of the innings.
Pandya once again played a crucial innings of 48 which increase the pace of the Game. He is turning into a perfect finisher day by day.
Bumrah and Shami bowled well by taking 6 wickets among them. Bumrah what a bowler he is. Whenever captain gives the ball to him in the middle phase, he will take one or two crucial wickets. Even today, in 27th over – Kohli gave him the ball and picked important two wickets. He took Brathwaite wicket in the same over which was a very crucial wicket.
Shami utilized his chances to 100% and now he made difficult for Bhuvi to play in the final XI. He took 4 for 16.
Bowlers did a wonderful job by making WI all out for just 143 runs in 35 overs.
India Batting Statistics.
Indian Score Breakdown.
India Bowling Statistics.
Let’s get into the match.
India won the toss and chose to bat without any hesitation. It looks like a great batting pitch but behaved differently throughout the match.
Indian Openers Rahul and Rohit started well and cautiously which is their strategy through the WC. It was the last ball of the 6th over, Rohit was out in Roach bowling which was referred to third umpire. Rohit played a drive and left gap between bat and pad. The ball just passed through the gap and third umpire gave it out but replays shows that its not 100% bat involved in that. Such situations should go in favor of batsman but this time Rohit walked back by shaking his head.
Kohli walked in and started his business as usual by rotating the strike and looked good. Kohli and Rahul started building the innings and India scored 47/1 in first 10 overs which was decent enough score. Kohli looked in fabulous touch and he is a master of the game. He batted so brilliantly when others are struggling against the same bowlers. The ball stayed slow and its gripping on this pitch. It made difficult for the batsman to time the ball. At the end of 20 overs India were in good position by scoring 97/1.
In 21st over, Holder bowled a beauty to get rid of Rahul who is two runs short of his half century. The ball went through his defense and took the top of the bail on its way. Rahul out for 48 runs of 68 balls and again missed a good opportunity to score big.
Shankar walked in and he got one more chance to prove his batting skills. He started good by hitting 3 boundaries and looked in good touch. But, he couldn’t grab the opportunity and got out in 27th over for just 14 runs which leaves the question – “Who will bat at 4???”.
In the mean while Kohli became the fastest cricketers to reach 20,000 international runs and moved ahead of Sachin, Lara. What a player he is, non-stop running machine and more than that all those runs helped India to cross the line.
After Shankar, Jadhav came in with confidence he got in last match but couldn’t repeat the last match performance and got out for just 7 runs.
Dhoni walked out in 30 th over. He started slow and didn’t rotate strike at the beginning which was the talking point around him. As the match was progressing , the batting on this pitch looks difficult and the predictions are moving down from 300 + to 250 and 260.WI got a chance to stump Dhoni in 34th over but hope didn’t gather the ball properly and missed two chances to get rid of MSD. MSD charged down the pitch and missed the ball completely and Hope missed twice to collect the ball for stumping.
Kohli and Dhoni started restructuring the innings and Dhoni started to play singles and started rotating the strike. In 39th over , he tried to pull the shot but the ball didn’t come on to the bat and gave a simple catch to Bravo. With Kohli wicket in 39th over, it was only Dhoni and Pandya to finish the game till last ball.
Pandya started playing his game and started to hit the ball. He timed the ball nicely and scored 46 runs in just 38 balls with 5 boundaries. In 49th over, he tried for a big shot over extra cover and gave catch to Cottrell
Shami got out in the same over and it was Kuldeep who was on non-striker end in the 50th over.
It was always a Dhoni’s innings to take the match till last over and hit big. He retained the strike for 50th over and started 6 in first ball. He finishes of the innings with a 6 over deep square leg and India reached 268 which was par score on the pitch.
It was all Indian bowling from ball 1 and never been WI batting. Shami and Bhumrah bowled well without conceding the runs. They bowled so well that they didn’t give any room to Gayle to free his hands. Shami got rid of dangerous Gayle in 5th over with a short ball . One more ball which grips the pitch and didn’t allow the batsman to play freely. Gayle tried to pull and gave catch to Jadhav. In the 7th over Shami once again clean bowled Hope .
Pooran and Ambris looked good and started to build the innings but Pandya had other plans when he bowled a slow ball which made Ambris wicket down for an lbw. This was the only partnership in the entire match which looked good.
From that point, WI never looked to be in the game. They kept loosing wickets at regular short intervals. They lost Pooran in 21st over. In next 13 overs they lost 6 wickets and India wrapped up the match by 34th over. In 27th over, Bumrah missed on a hattrick. He took Brathwaite and Allen for first two balls and continued by a super slow ball Yorker to Roach. Brathwaite who played a breathtaking innings in the last match didn’t create problems in this match. He got a thick snick of the bat and Dhoni took one handed stunning catch to get rid of dangerous batsman. The next ball, he caught Allen lbw with a fast delivery
Shami finished of the innings in 35th over and WI are all out of 143 runs.
India won by 125 runs which boosted their Net Run Rate.
India will play England in their next match which will be a crucial game for England to keep their Semis chances alive.
Post Match Conference.