Heavyweights collide as India face England in second semi-final

India's Virat Kohli and England's Jos Buttler. Photo: AFP

A high-octane clash is on the cards as India take on England in the second semi-final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Adelaide on Thursday.

India made a strong statement with their performance in the Super 12s, winning four out of their five matches and finishing at the top of Group 2. A loss to South Africa was the sole blip in an otherwise consistent group stage showing.

The Indian batters have put on quite a show as well. All of Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have been in strong form and will be looking to take that forward into the knock-outs. But skipper Rohit Sharma has been struggling to get big scores and his team will be hoping he can step up.

On the bowling front, all the three frontline pacers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh have delivered impressive performances as well. All-rounder Hardik Pandya and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin have also made significant contributions with the ball, claiming eight and six wickets in this campaign respectively.

England bounced back well after losing to Ireland in the Super 12s. Qualifying for the semi-finals was looking quite difficult when the match against Australia was washed out, but Jos Buttler's men delivered strong performances against New Zealand and Sri Lanka to make their way into the final four.

The main strength of this English side is their batting, which runs right down to number 10. The line-up is full of power-hitters right from the top, which means they can really run away with the game on decks that are good for batting and venues where the boundaries are short. The Adelaide Oval fulfils both requisites and that's why this English batting unit could be a very difficult proposition to handle for the Indian bowlers.

England's bowling unit, which wasn't rated that highly ahead of the tournament, has stepped up as well. Sam Curran has been a revelation with the ball, particularly in the death. The left-armer is England's highest wicket-taker in the tournament while going at an economy rate of 6.40. Mark Wood has been relentless with his express pace as well, whereas Ben Stokes has also done a great job to pick up five wickets while going at 5.90 runs per over.




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