T20WC, 2022: Team India’s dismal performance in the T20 World Cup 2022 came to an end on Thursday after they were defeated by England by a margin of 10 wickets in the second semifinal. As a result, England advanced to the final, where they will face Pakistan on Sunday at the MCG.
India would not have preferred this way to conclude its World Cup campaign. Unfortunately, against a formidable England team on Thursday night, all of their weaknesses—particularly the bowling—were ruthlessly exposed on the world stage. With 24 balls remaining, England’s openers, who are arguably two of the top T20I batters in the world, hunted down the easy total fiercely.
India scored 168 for 6 after being put into bat, thanks to Virat Kohli’s 50 off of 40 balls and Hardik Pandya’s 63 off of 33. However, England made a mockery of the chase by cruising home with four overs to spare thanks to dominating fifties from Alex Hales (86) and Jos Buttler (80) during their uncontested opening partnership.
Rahul Dravid described this as a five-phase defeat, with three stages coming from India’s batting and two from England. Dravid believed India had lost the other four overs, with the exception of the stretch where they scored 68 runs in the final five. In the first phase of the innings, India’s batting was conservative, meandering, and completely ineffective. But the bowlers’ utter capitulation was undoubtedly unprecedented.
When Bhuvneshwar Kumar let up 25 runs in only two overs, he was withdrawn from the attack. When early wickets were required to slow England’s run rate, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Shami were each given one over. The plan was to use the spinners as soon as possible on Adelaide’s “tacky” ground, according to Dravid.
It was necessary to subdue India’s spinners for England to win. However, clearing the ropes would have been a difficulty with the long straight boundaries. The shorter square boundaries allow it to clear the slog sweeps, pulls over midwicket, and inside-out strokes, which may crush any bowler’s lengths. In England’s innings, three sixes against spin stand out, all brushed from outside off-stump.
When England visited India last year, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin wreaked havoc in the final three Test matches to help India win the series 3-1. But Joe Root’s propensity for sweeping nearly every ball played at him helped England win the first Test in Chennai by 227 runs. Formats vary, but it appears that the technique still works for fetching runs.
India’s two World Cup performances, spaced by a year, are both marked by defeats by 10 wickets. It was anticipated that India would revolutionise their approach to T20 cricket after they were eliminated from last year’s World Cup in the UAE with a fresh change of guard and the so-called “new batting template,” but a year later, Indian T20 cricket is still stuck in the same rut.
In the beginning, India botched the Powerplay on both ends, managing just 38/1 in the first six overs while batting. India was just 110/3 at the end of 16 overs until Hardik Pandya, who finally scored a brilliant 63 off only 33 balls, erupted in the final overs. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul’s tense beginnings in this tournament, particularly in the semifinal, have truly hampered India despite Virat Kohli’s additional half-century.
Whereas, after the first six overs, England had 63/0, their second-highest Powerplay score against India in a T20I, and the match was practically over at that point.
India has now lost in a World Cup semifinal the previous four times they have advanced that far: the 2015 ODI World Cup, the 2016 World T20, and, up until Thursday, the 2019 ODI WC. As a result, their knockout jinx still remains. In these games, it’s not only about the statistics, match-ups, and pins on the tactics board: India lacks England’s fervour, fury, and fire. They were unable to step up their performance as their rivals did that evening.
India has lost an ICC tournament for the seventh time in nine years, despite coming so close once again. The “Men in Blue”, who once again faltered in a knockout match, are again under heavy scrutiny as the infamous “chokers” title, which has been associated with South Africa over the years. This will be a hard pill to digest for a squad that has dominated bilateral series at home and pulled off some memorable victories abroad. While part of it may be the result of tactical mistakes, most of it was caused by underlying issues that came to light when it mattered most.