World Cup

India’s cricket almost perfect

India are flexing their muscles and looks as though they might be able to defend their title. Playing with confidence, energy, urgency and purpose, they have racked up seven wins in a row to march into the semifinals where they will meet either Australia or Pakistan. They are playing intelligent cricket and their all-round game is almost perfect.

It was an impressive win even though Bangladesh’s overall performance was underwhelming.

After conceding 300-plus runs, Bangladesh were always going to find it hard to win as no team has scored 300 or more to win a match batting second at the MCG. The return to form of Rohit Sharma will be very pleasing for the team.

He crafted a beautifully-composed 137 from 126 balls that was mixed with some subtle strokeplay and power hitting that typified his wonderful ability to dominate a bowling attack. He is a fine touch player with beautiful hands — a flick of the wrist and he can send the ball racing to the boundary.

Cause for concern

The form of Virat Kohli must be a concern for India. He was expected to be the key run-maker for the team but he has not really delivered and is being upstaged by Shikhar Dhawan, Sharma and Suresh Raina. Kohli has immense talent and maybe his day will come in the semifinals. Raina is making the most of his opportunities and appears to know where the gaps are in the field and he finds them to score plenty of runs.

Bangladesh bow out of the tournament but they can hold their heads up high as they have played an entertaining brand of cricket that will benefit their game in the future.

Australia favourites

In the third quarterfinal, Australia should be too strong for Pakistan at the beautiful Adelaide Oval on Friday. Australia are playing well and they have a strong belief that they can go all the way.

The stats favour Australia, with 57 wins versus 31 defeats. However in World Cup contests, they are four-all.

Their batting is strong with so many power-hitters who can win a game on their own.

On the bowling front, Mitchell Starc is one of the leading wicket takers in the tournament with 16 wickets. He is well supported by Mitchell Johnson and Pat Cummins.

On the other hand Pakistan have four wins and two losses to date. Skipper Misbah–ul Haq has been instrumental in their revival, batting with a calm and cool head.

Pakistan will miss the bowling sevices of speedster Mohammad Irfan due to injury.

A win for Australia is likely but history shows that Pakistan is an unpredictable team. It depends on which Pakistan team will turn up on the day — an ordinary team or an inspired one! — Hawkeye / Chivach Sports


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 8:23:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/world-cup/indias-cricket-almost-perfect/article7012305.ece

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