“Defensive Approach, Misfired Bowling”: How Did India Lose The Semifinal Against England

England beat India by ten wickets to set up the final clash with Pakistan

India lost to the 2019 World Cup winners in the second semifinal of the ICC T20 World Cup, 2022. This defeat by ten wickets has crushed the hearts of the fans who wanted to witness a final between India and Pakistan. As the results did not pan out expectedly, India faced a severe backlash from former players and fans on social media. 

Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar tweeted India suffered an embarrassing defeat from the opponents. Pakistan cricket team’s Twitter handle also shared a poster in which they asked the Men in Blue to book the ticket home soon. Expectedly, Indian analysts were more empathetic about the loss. Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag said the team must learn from their mistakes and move on with hope. 

India lacked intent in the World Cup

Strategically, Adelaide is a T20 wicket that assisted chasing teams in recent times. England won the toss and bowled first, leaving Rohit Sharma-led-team with a task to set a target of at least 180. 

However, India struggled to raise runs in the power-play overs. They scored only 38 runs in the first 36 balls. Meanwhile, the opposing team, England, had 63 runs under their belt after the same amount of balls, without losing a wicket. India did not get the desired start, whereas England made better use of the conditions and also pounced on a big opening partnership. 

The second key reason was India’s defensive approach to the game, which meant they left too much to the latent part of the innings. A statistical comparison of India’s performance before the T20 World Cup and during the World Cup would highlight that they scored more runs in the PP overs, before the event. They broke down during the important event. 

Another reason is the misfired bowling, where all the bowlers collapsed in big time. The decision to omit Yuzvendra Chahal on a pitch where leg-spinners shine was a risky call that India made, and will regret by now.

What should be the approach from now on?

Team India must learn to play with more intent, that suits the demands of the game. At present, many fans complain India plays with an approach similar to ODIs. That mindset is not a desirable quality for a team like India that aspires more. 

In the upcoming New Zealand tour, India has picked a young team, and the step is probably in the right direction. The team is likely to undergo a transition, and it may put a likely end to the careers of Dinesh Karthik, R Ashwin, and a few other players in T20Is. A change is necessary.