T20 World Cup: How they match up the final four 

None of the four teams that have made it to the semifinals of the T20 World Cup have had a perfect Super 12s.

Published: 08th November 2022 07:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2022 07:27 AM   |  A+A-

Cricketers Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli. (Photo | AFP)

Cricketers Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli. (Photo | AFP)

Express News Service

None of the four teams that have made it to the semifinals of the T20 World Cup has had a perfect Super 12s. They have had their share of ups and downs, and would want to address the chinks in their armour before the knockouts. Gomesh S looks at how the teams have fared, who holds the key and plausible weaknesses...

India

Road to the semis
Rohit Sharma & Co would be thinking what would have happened had Virat Kohli not connected those two sixes against Pakistan in their opening game. Things could have been pretty different for them, but Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Arshdeep Singh have helped them to the knockouts. KL Rahul and R Ashwin have chipped in here and there, but by and large, it has been a three-man show for the Men in Blue so far.

The X-factor
Yes, it was Kohli who set it up, but it would be hard to look past Suryakumar. The captain called it before the World Cup as well. To score 225 runs in 5 innings while batting at No 4 is not a big deal, but to do it at a strike rate of 193.96 takes the cake. He has taken the conditions, opponents and every other factor out of the equation and has dispatched the white cherry across most of the grounds. India would be hoping that the law of averages don’t catch up to him come Thursday. 

The Achilles heel
The openers. Their stands in the WC read 7, 11, 23, 11 and 27. Rohit has had a tournament to forget so far and Rahul is just picking some form. If that is not enough, their middle-order (nos 5-7), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik and Axar Patel, have not had a good tournament so far. They have relied heavily on their No 3 and 4 to take them across the line every single time. It is a worrying sign.

5.4
Among bowlers with more than 15 overs in the WC, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has the second-lowest economy, just behind South Africa’s Anrich Nortje (5.37)

England

Road to the semis
They started with a comfortable win against Afghanistan. But losing to Ireland and the game versus Australia getting washed out meant England were in a bit of trouble. Since then, openers Alex Hales and Jos Buttler have stepped up, Ben Stokes has come to the party and Mark Wood has been breathing fire. Despite not lighting up the tournament, they are peaking at the right time.

The X-factor
5/10, 2/31, 2/26, 1/27 are the figures of Sam Curran in the World cup. Granted, he has had support from Wood and Chris Woakes, but the left-arm seamer has notched up his bowling big time. His batting might not be effective, but England would take this version of Curran, who could make early inroads. With the record of Indian batters against left-arm pacers well known, he would hold key for England in the semifinals. 

The Achilles heel
They have had one player or the other step up when the team needed the most, but consistency is what’s lacking for them. They haven’t really had a perfect game where everything went their way. Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone are yet to fire and that will only put extra pressure on Buttler, who carries this batting line-up at the top.

7.93
They conceded only 7.93 runs per over in the death so far, which is essentially where India have scored most of their runs in the tournament

New Zealand

Road to the semis
Finn Allen set the tone in their opening game with a swashbuckling 42 before Glenn Phillips took over (195 runs at 163.86 SR). Devon Conway had a good game, Kane Williamson did his part vs Ireland, and in the bowling department, every single one has contributed equally.

The X-factor
Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner have bowled 31.2 overs cumulatively, accounting for 14 wickets while going for just 6.57 runs per over. The pacers have contributed as well, but it is the spin duo that has stood apart in comparison with the other three teams that have made it to the semifinals. They will have a vital role to play against Pakistan top-order.

The Achilles heel
Kane Williamson. It is the hard truth. He might have led team well throughout the tournament, but his approach with the bat could cost them dearly, especially in a high-scoring game as it did against England where he scored a run-a-ball 40 while chasing 180. He would want to replicate what he did against Ireland on Wednesday. 

189.58
Finn Allen has the highest strike as an opener in the World Cup and could take the game away in a matter of few overs

Pakistan

Road to the semis
They got off to a disastrous start, losing to India and then Zimbabwe. Against South Africa, they were 43/4, but somehow Pakistan pulled off a Pakistan to find themselves in the final four. That Netherlands shocked South Africa sure came in handy. Even against Bangladesh, they almost lost it before the middle order rescued them and got them home. It is going to be hard to predict which Pakistan will turn up on Wednesday.

The X-factor
A lot of things have fell in place for Pakistan as the WC progressed. Mohammad Haris coming in as a replacement. Iftikhar Ahmed’s batting and Shaheen Shah Afridi’s bowling. If there has to be one name, it is Shadab Khan who has been the pillar of this team. He has picked up ten wickets with an economy of 6.22 and is striking at 177.27 with the bat even though they haven’t used him well in the batting department.

The Achilles heel
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam were supposed to be their strengths. They have carried their batting in T20Is for years now. But it has been a horrendous tournament for them. Babar averages 7.8 while Rizwan 20.6 and it is the middle-order that had to pull a lot of weight because of their conservative approach at the top. If they don’t change, it could be hard for Pakistan to get past the semifinals. 

6.45
Pakistan have the lowest economy in the middle-overs (7-16) among teams that made it to the Super 12s in this World Cup



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