India will play England in the second T20 World Cup semi-final in Adelaide on November 10th. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 pm local time.
The match features two teams hoping to win this tournament for the second time. India were the inaugural winners in 2007, whilst England won it three years after that.
Are India now the favourites?
India may now be considered the favourites for the World Cup, but it has been by no means plain sailing for them so far. They were reliant on a match-winning performance from Virat Kohli combined with a failure of nerve from spin bowler Mohammad Nawaz to beat Pakistan off the last ball of the match.
Victory over the Dutch was comfortable enough, but then came a setback when they were beaten by South Africa by five wickets. They bounced back from that, however, by edging out Bangladesh, albeit in controversial style, and, by the time they played Zimbabwe, they knew they were already in the semi-finals due to results elsewhere. A comprehensive 71 victory guaranteed them top spot in the group.
Their success to date has been really built on their batting. Virat Kohli is the leading run scorer in the competition, whilst Suryakumar Yadav is not far behind him.
England yet to find their best form
By their own admission, England have yet to find their best form in the tournament so far.
They made hard work of beating Afghanistan and then were on the wrong end of a shock result, losing to Ireland. When their match with Australia was a victim of the weather, there was no margin for error left.
Against New Zealand they achieved their result of the competition to date, but came close to losing their final match against Sri Lanka, and were hugely indebted to an innings from Ben Stokes, who kept his nerve to see his side home with two balls to spare.
So far, though, they have really failed to spark as a collective unit.
That does not mean that India should be underestimating them though. They have the potential to beat any side in the world on their day, and the quality of their fielding is among the best in the competition.
In opener and captain Jos Buttler, they also possess one of the best T20 players in the world, as India know very well from the Indian T20 league, where he was voted MVP this year for his batting exploits with the Rajasthan Royals.
India are likely to be unchanged for this match from the same starting XI that played in their last game against Sri Lanka.
England, however, are likely to be without Dawid Malan for the match on Thursday, after he injured his groin fielding against Sri Lanka. He was unable to bat during the subsequent run chase. They now face a selection dilemma – bring in Phil Salt, the only other batter in their squad, or opt for an extra bowler like David Willey, Chris Jordan or Tymal Mills.
According to the ICC T20I rankings, Malan is England’s highest-ranked batter, but he has had a disappointing World Cup so far.
Head to head
The two teams have played each other 22 times before in T20I cricket, and the current head to head record is 12 wins for India as opposed to ten for England.
Three of those matches have come in previous World Cups. India, on the way to their trophy win, won by 18 runs in 2007, but it was England who were victorious three years later by 5 runs.
Their most recent World Cup meeting was a decade ago in Sri Lanka, with India thrashing their opponents by 90 runs in Colombo.
Fortunately, the weather on the day of the match in Adelaide is expected to be dry and mainly sunny.
This is a heavyweight contest between two of the pre-tournament favourites and could literally go either way depending on the conditions and who plays well on the day. Based on what has happened in the competition so far, India may consider themselves slight favourites because of the quality of their batting, especially Kohli and Yadav.
It may come down to a test of nerve, but with big game players on either side, it could well be a very close match.
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