Group B in the ongoing Super-12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2021 includes two great teams, India and New Zealand, two trials in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and two newcomers Namibia and Scotland. But to everyone’s surprise, Pakistan has emerged as the strongest and most likely contender among the six teams to book a place in the semi-finals. (more cricket news)
After Pakistan defeated Afghanistan in a thrilling close finish on Friday, it is now clear that India must beat New Zealand to stay in search of a runner-up in the semi-finals of the group as this Pakistani team led by Babar Azam looks strong and unlikely to spoil. Even in the remaining group matches.
After hitting India with 10 wickets, Pakistan defeated New Zealand in their second match. The guys in green are seated at the top of the table with hectares of wins and a solid +0.638 run rate. Afghanistan, another black horse, is in second place and has an amazing run rate of +3.092. Namibia has a net play rate of 0.550 after one match.
Meanwhile, the two strong teams, India and New Zealand, have found themselves in a quarter-final-like situation, as both have yet to open their accounts and their net run ratios appear to be negative at -0.973 and -0.532 respectively.
The confrontation between India and New Zealand at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on October 31 will see one of them eliminated from the tournament.
The 2021 T20 World Cup happens to be India captain Virat Kohli’s last assignment as T20 captain. Here are the three things that the Indian cricket team has to do to save their ship from sinking.
1. Add Shardul Thakur instead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar
India went with the Bhoveneshwar experience in the Pakistan match. However, that did not bring any good to the team. He was injured for four and six in the first time of the chase. The choice of reputation over the current format in Pakistan’s editorials helped stabilize the excesses of power. Apart from the veteran’s fast streak and height, the pitch offered no support to Bovneshwar Kumar as there was an absence of swing in the second innings of the match. Although Bovneshwar was able to move the ball, he was not effective in the white ball form of late.
On the other hand, Shardul Thakur who is a multi-level player has the ability to hit especially in the middle thanks to his cross bowling and changing speed which helped the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) greatly in the recently concluded IPL in UAE. With the woes of turbulent Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur makes a strong case for himself that he can make the scoreboard swing in death as well.
2. Choose Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world, especially in the shortest version of the game. Regardless of the noteworthy praise he has received over the years, the multi-skilled Indian has been struggling for over a month, including the second stage of the IPL in the UAE. The management still put their faith in and played it as a specialized hit against Pakistan because it wasn’t bowling. The move backfired on India as they cut off the option of having a sixth footballer in the squad. He has learned that Hardik Pandya has started to roll but how effective it is is yet to be seen.
Even if he is able to run, Pandya’s silent bat makes cricket critics raucous. Hardik Pandya can’t be overlooked but when it comes to depth in the lower mid-ranking, it would be ideal to have someone like Ishan Kishan, who is in his life form but unable to break into XI as the best. Two places were awarded to Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul by Captain Kohli.
3. Dew factor
With three stadiums in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah having the dew factor in the second half of the innings, it is the throwing that dictates the results. The most recent was during the match between New Zealand and Pakistan. New Zealand came close to winning but the tables turned in Pakistan’s favor as sticky surfaces helped the batsmen. During the Pakistani fighting rounds against India, the dew factor played a major role.
Indian hijackers Jaspreet Bumrah and Muhammad Shami struggled with their streak and height and provided short and loose balls for Pakistan. Although winning the toss is a coincidence, what India can really do is take a leaf from Shahin Shah Afridi’s magical spells. If India once again finds themselves defending the aggregate, Bhumrah and Shami will have to beat the perfect Yorkists against New Zealand.