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Countdown to semi-final: India’s batting needs to come good

New Delhi: There was a sigh of relief on Tuesday after India defeated the doughty Bangladesh by 28 runs and sealed a birth for the semis in the World Cup. The margin of victory could have been more had India managed to capitalize on the impressive start given by Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Rohit went on to score his fourth test hundred in this tournament, and continues to tower over other batsmen in his team. With the run rate hovering around 6.25 till 25th over, things began to fall apart after Rohit and Rahul’s dismissal. Except Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya failed to make any significant contribution to the total. Even Dinesh Karthik and Mahendra Singh Dhoni played mediocre innings leaving a lot to be desired. India now will play Sri Lanka before girding up their loins for the semis.

Rohit’s brilliant run in the tournament

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that India must attribute their victories to Rohit’s centuries.  He had been a revelation as he played with conviction and confidence in almost all the matches. In the semi final, all focus will be on him again and if he is able to score 60 or 70 plus runs, then the team will definitely consolidate its position in the course of the game.

cricket world cup 2019 Team India Virat Kohli Dhoni Pant Rohit Pandya
Rishabh Pant

Middle order should be solid

In Rishabh Pant and Pandya, India have got two solid middle order batsmen who can turn things around with their lusty hitting. Rishab is a little impetuous, and needs to cultivate a temperament that would help him play according to the needs of the situation. Pandya’s range of shots is amazing. Of late, he has even mastered the art of helicopter shots. If he gets going, the opponents have every reason to press the panic button.

Dhoni can always surprise

It is unfortunate that Dhoni has been trolled for his slow batting against England. The English bowling was impressive which made it difficult for both Dhoni and Kedar Jadav to score quickly at the fag end of the match. Skipper Kohli has constantly supported Dhoni and knows that he has it in him to turn things around.

Bhumra and company remain India’s bowling strength

Jasprit Bhumra and Mohammad Shami’s brilliant performances in this tournament have given hopes to Indian fans. Bhumra’s almost unplayable googlies remain batsmen’s nightmare, and in all probability, he can snatch victory for his team from the jaws of defeat. His economy rate has been absolutely top class. Shami, though a little expensive, continues to bamboozle with his deceptive bouncers and in-swingers. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is equally capable of making life miserable for batsmen.

Kohli should also now serious think of giving Ajay Jadeja a place in the final eleven in the coming matches. We would love to see him bowling not to talk about his brilliant fielding prowess.

Aditya Mukherjee

The writer is an independent journalist based in Delhi

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