Beat Zimbabwe and India will be through to the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. The equation is that simple.
Rohit Sharma’s side could effectively already be through to the final four before a ball is bowled in Sunday’s late fixture at the MCG in Melbourne.
The other four teams in Group 2 all play earlier in the day in a double-header in Adelaide, meaning that India will know precisely the situation in the group even before their fifth and final Super 12 match.
Those permutations only come into play if India lose. Win and they will be heading to a semi-final against England in Adelaide.
However, Zimbabwe’s win over Pakistan earlier in the tournament shows that it is no foregone conclusion that India will waltz to a win in Sunday’s conclusion of the Super 12.
“We know no team is a push-over, you will have to still go in there, counter the early pace with the bat and still bowl good balls to be able to generate pressure,” Ravichandran Ashwin told reporters on Saturday.
“It’s a must-win contest. We know that. Like in every other contest in this T20 World Cup, it’s a must-win encounter.
“So, we are looking forward to the game. Zimbabwe has played some wonderful cricket, so we can’t go in there and expect them to crumble. They bowled well and batted well, so we expect that.”
Zimbabwe’s loss to Netherlands last time out has denied them an opportunity to push for a semi-final spot, but victory would have the benefit of securing a top-four group finish and therefore automatic qualification for the next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
But more than anything, beating the giants of India would be historic as a standalone moment for a team who’ve shown real class in the tournament to-date.
“With the win against Pakistan, it’s given us a huge amount of belief that we can beat any side in the tournament,” Zimbabwe’s Craig Ervine said on Saturday.
“I don’t think that will change going into tomorrow’s game.
“How often do you get the opportunity to put Virat Kohli in your pocket? I’m pretty sure that our fast bowlers will be raring to go come tomorrow.”
Zimbabwe: Craig Ervine (c), Regis Chakabva (wk), Wesley Madhevere, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Richard Ngarava, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Sikandar Raza: The veteran all-rounder has played match-defining roles in all of Zimbabwe’s wins in this T20 World Cup. He scored an unbeaten 82 against Ireland and then scored a match-winning 40 against Scotland, while remaining unbeaten once again. But he went one better, picking up three wickets in a stunning spell to turn the game and set Zimbabwe on a path to their famous win over Pakistan. If there is to be a shock result then Raza is likely to be key.
Suryakumar Yadav: The middle-order batter has been in excellent form in this format ever since his debut last year, climbing to the top of the ICC Men’s T20I Batting Rankings. Overall, Yadav has amassed 1209 T20I runs at an excellent average of 40.30 and a sensational strike rate of 177.27.
Captaincy Pick: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is enjoying a great run of form with the bat. The 33-year-old has struck 220 runs in four matches so far at the World Cup, making him comfortably the top-scorer in the Super 12 stage. In this sort of form Kohli is as close as it gets to a banker in T20I cricket.
Must-Have Pick: Sikandar Raza
Sikandar Raza has breathed fire in 2022 so far. Brilliant with the bat and deadly with the ball, Zimbabwe’s star all-rounder is his country’s main man and one of the stars of the tournament. When legends of the game like Ricky Ponting are taking notice you know you’re doing something right.
Differential Pick: Arshdeep Singh
The left-arm seamer had a dream debut in the T20 World Cup during India’s four-wicket win against Pakistan. Arshdeep picked up the key wickets of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Asif Ali to finish with figures 3 for 32 from four overs. In Jasprit Bumrah’s absence, Arshdeep is taking every opportunity to fill the shoes in the pace department, taking two wickets in each of India’s matches since. He has the in-swingers and can also execute the bouncers, and has claimed 28 wickets in 17 T20Is so far, at an average of 18.14 and an economy of 8.17.
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Publish date : 2022-11-05 17:54:41