India March Into Semifinals: A Repeat Of 2011 World Cup On Cards?

Fans point out striking similarities. But cricket is a game of handling pressure

Twitter is abuzz. Cricket fans are high. These are memorable moments for an Indian cricket fan. The Men in Blue outclassed Zimbabwe by 71 runs to book a place in the ICC T20 World Cup semifinal. India will meet England in the big clash on Thursday. 


Many fans have brought up exciting similarities between India’s journey in the 22 World Cup and the 2011 50-over edition. India lost only one game in the group clash, and it came against South Africa in both events. Australia was ruled out before the semifinals. Pakistan and New Zealand entered the last four.

Notably, a left-hander replaced a right-hander just before the semifinal. Yes, fans are drawing parallels. But does that ensure India wins a World Cup? Definitely not, because cricket is about dealing with the present and absorbing the pressure. But it can act as a motivator for the fans and players, not a confidence booster. In the end, it is not the coincidence that matters, but performance. 

India are favourites, but there are issues 

The Men in Blue have won four games so far. Their bowling unit has looked top-notch in this tournament. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, and Mohammed Shami bowled brilliantly, while R Ashwin bounced back to form with three wickets in the last match. Hardik Pandya is performing the complimenting act fine, while Axar Patel’s leaking of runs is an area of concern. 

In batting, Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli have delivered for the 2007 T20 World Cup winners. The duo is No.1 and No.2 in the leading run-scorer charts in the WC. Meanwhile, opener, KL Rahul bounced back to form with back-to-back fifties. However, skipper Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya are yet to click in batting. 

The major issues of India lie in their middle order and handling of power play overs. What would happen if Surya and Kohli get out quickly? Would that trigger a collapse? Why is India scoring less in the first six overs? These are some questions raised by the fans. On the other side, India is the only team with two in-form batters in the semifinal. It could be considered an advantage as well. 

What about Pakistan, England, and New Zealand?

Men in Green started the tournament with two losses but registered a recovery. Their bowling has been top-notch, and middle-order batters are contributing big time. However, the form of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan is a vital issue. 

The other semifinalist, New Zealand, is riding on their bowling unit, and all their batters barring Jimmy Neesham have made crucial contributions. Based on their current form, they are likely favourites against Pakistan in the semifinal clash. 

Meanwhile, England has booked a place in the title race with some tight death bowling. Their batters are yet to peak as a collective, but given the dearth of talent, they can give a run on the money for India.

The upcoming three games are tough. All four teams have got a splendid chance. The winner will be the team that can handle pressure situations tactfully. Will that be India? The answer is a few games away.