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T20 World Cup 2024: Rain breaks India’s momentum

Having come from St Lucia, for their previous game against Australia where the pitch was probably the best all tournament long, the Indian batters were in all sorts of awkward positions, save for Rohit.
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 22:36 IST

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England couldn’t take the sheen off of Rohit Sharma’s brilliance, not yet at least, but the rain surely did, for now at least.

At the time of the second stoppage, Rohit’s unbeaten 37 had carried India to a healthy 65 for 2 in eight overs but expect more such stoppages. 

Predictions of 80 per cent rain were true as the Providence Stadium in Guyana was covered in a blanket of grey before the start of India’s semifinal against England on Thursday. 

The expectedly excellent drainage facility at the venue ensured the game would begin, albeit an hour and fifteen minutes past the scheduled time of 10:30 am (8 pm IST), and India, having lost the toss were asked to bat.

It was an interesting call from England skipper Jos Buttler for the pitch looked good, and the sun was at its blistering best by the revised start of play (11:45 am). 

Grassless, hard, with stable cracks and some moisture still, the pitch, however, turned the table on those predictions by playing unreasonably low. 

Having come from St Lucia, for their previous game against Australia where the pitch was probably the best all tournament long, the Indian batters were in all sorts of awkward positions, save for Rohit. 

By the time the second spell (12:23 pm) of rain ended hopes of continuous action, Rohit was set. This was not an innings typified by Rohit’s elegance, this was more workmanlike, and that’s what he has been on about since the beginning of the tournament: acclimatise and play smart cricket.

He, naturally, expects the other batters to do so too, but somehow Virat Kohli doesn’t seem to get it. 

Once again, he tried to force the issue and ended up getting cleaned up by Reece Topley. While Kohli’s latest dismissal was not nearly as ugly as some of the other ones his fans have had to endure all tournament long, this one is particularly worrisome because this is the business end of the tournament, and he has 75 runs from seven games at an average of 10.71. 

This is unequivocally the worst tournament Kohli has ever had as a batter. Luckily for him, Rohit seems to be carrying the batting load rather swimmingly. 

Having admitted at the toss that India would’ve batted first anyway, Rohit came out looking for the big hits but since he couldn’t get his timing right, he started shuffling at the stumps more than usual, and that brought him some success. 

Rishabh Pant, meanwhile, was rut continued as he chipped Sam Curran straight down Jonny Bairstow’s throat at short midwicket. 

Still, the Indians, who were certain of playing their semifinal in Guyana way back, are not short of batting depth, and that showed when Suryakumar joined Rohit in the middle and did his thing. You know, dancing across and lapping the ball over the ‘keeper’s head for a six and such. 

Sadly, just when it looked like Rohit was getting into it, and Suryakumar would get more expressive, a sharp spell of rain arrived. There was another one prior to this but that one was brief. This one was here to stay and so the players came off and the fans danced in the rain. 

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Published 27 June 2024, 22:36 IST

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