Adelaide: After India’s campaign in the Men’s T20 World Cup ended with a ten-wicket thrashing handed by England in their semifinal match at Adelaide Oval, head coach Rahul Dravid admitted that the side should have been able to make 180-185 while batting first.
England had won the toss and pushed India into batting first on a used pitch at Adelaide Oval. They justified their decision by bowling excellently till the 15th over, denying India scoring opportunities towards the short square boundaries and got them to play more towards the longer side of the ground.
Moreover, India’s batting in the power-play, which was a constant point of struggle in the tournament, continued in the semifinal as they made 38 in the first six overs, which was easily achieved by England’s opening pair of Jos Buttler and Alex Hales in 3.2 overs of their chase.
Virat Kohli smashed four fours and a six in his 40-ball 50, while Hardik Pandya top-scored with a 33-ball 63, hitting four fours and five sixes at a strike-rate of 190.91, as India got 68 runs off the last five overs to score 168/6, after being 62/2 at the half-way mark.
What an incredible shot by King Kohli! pic.twitter.com/TuI4ospeet
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) November 10, 2022
But Buttler and Alex Hales had other plans, chasing down the total with immaculate ease to win by ten wickets and four overs to spare. While Hales hit 86 not out off 47 balls, Buttler smacked an unbeaten 80 off 49 balls, as the duo hit ten sixes and 13 fours collectively to set up a finale clash against Pakistan at Melbourne on Sunday.
“Probably would have certainly liked to go a couple of steps further. But just outplayed, outclassed today. They were the better team in all departments really. The score line showed that.
180-plus scored must
“Runs on the board was something (needed) in a semifinal. We had been batting well. We were one of those teams that were, even in these conditions, scoring 180, 180 plus. I think we had done it two or three times in this tournament, were playing well.”
“It’s just, maybe when the game started, the boys were saying it was a little bit tacky, it was a little bit slower. Having said that, they bowled really well. I thought they were really good up front. They hit really good lengths, didn’t really let us get away. We felt at that 15-over mark we felt we were probably 15, 20 short, and we really had a good last five overs.”
“I think Hardik out there was absolutely brilliant, and in the end it looked like we were a lot shorter than even 15, 20 (runs). But I think we should have been able to get to 180, 185 on that wicket. Maybe things might have been different with an early wicket after that,” said Dravid in the post-match press conference.
Not a debacle
With England out-batting, out-bowling and out-thinking India in every department of the game, Dravid refused to call India’s semifinal exit as a debacle. “They played well. That’s the reality of it. Once they got off to that kind of start, I think they could really sit back and control the run rate.”
“We had 168. They brought that run rate down to six and a half I think by the time the sixth over was finished, or seven runs an over, and then on a small ground like that, they were always in control, so they were going to control that game.”
“They didn’t really need to take too many risks. They could sit back and — not that they didn’t take them; they played some really good shots right through. But these things happen and it’s disappointing. Debacle I’m not sure is the right word, but disappointing certainly.”
Dravid pointed out that though India had a good campaign in the tournament till the deflating semi-final loss, it was way too early to sum up the takeaways for the team from the competition.
Tough to reflect
“It’s tough after a loss like that. But we’ll reflect on it. It’s tough to reflect on things so close to the result, but overall we ran a pretty good campaign. Over the last year, we’ve played some good T20 cricket.”
“Even in this tournament, I think we’ve had our moments. There’s been some real individual quality from a lot of our players, shown some real good skills. But on the day we were just not good enough here.
“I’m sure that when you lose in a semifinal, it’s disappointing, but there are things we can look back on and reflect on and see that we’ve improved in and we can take forward and move forward as we build for the next World Cup.