Team India will take on Zimbabwe in their final T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, November 6. The Men in Blue currently have six points from four games in Group 2. They have won three of their four matches, with their only loss coming against South Africa.
While they will be expected to get the better of Zimbabwe in Sunday’s encounter, one must remember that this has been a tournament of upsets and hence nothing is guaranteed. Team India’s place in the semi-finals is not yet assured. If Pakistan beat Bangladesh in their last group match, they will also finish the Super 12 with six points.
A win for India against Zimbabwe would push them to eight points and confirm their qualification for the semi-finals. However, if they stumble and stay on six points, it could come down to the net run rate scenario. India’s net run rate currently stands at +0.730, while that of Pakistan is +1.117. In short, Team India have a lot to play for against Zimbabwe.
Despite emerging triumphant in three of their four Super 12 matches, there are a few major concerns for the Men in Blue heading into their crucial match against Zimbabwe. Here’s a lowdown.
KL Rahul scored some much-needed runs in Team India’s close win over Bangladesh. However, the form of skipper Rohit Sharma with the willow remains a worry. He has looked like a shadow of the player who once dominated bowling attacks in white-ball cricket.
In four innings in the T20 World Cup 2022, he has scored only 74 runs at an average of 18.50 and a poor strike rate of 108.82. The opening batter did score a half-century against the Netherlands, but it was far from a convincing one. He had his fair share of luck, yet failed to convert a start into a big score. In his other three visits to the crease, he has registered scores of four, 15, and two.
More than the lack of runs, it is the manner in which he has been dismissed that is a greater cause for concern. Against Bangladesh, he got a life early in his innings. Instead of capitalizing on it, he played a nothing shot to get out soon after.
Team India will need their skipper to lift his game as they look to seal their semi-final berth.
In a World Cup where spinners have had their fair share of success, Team India have been rather flat in the slow bowling department. The Men in Blue have gambled with the experience of Ravichandran Ashwin over leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. An honest assessment would lead to the conclusion that the move hasn’t worked.
Having played in all four Super 12 matches so far, the 36-year-old has managed only three wickets at an average of 35.33. Two of those scalps came against the Netherlands. He conceded 43 runs in four overs against South Africa in Perth. To be fair to Ashwin, conditions weren’t in favor of spinners and his Proteas counterparts also struggled. But the off-spinner would have been expected to do a better job at restricting the flow of runs.
Even in the rain-hit match against Bangladesh, Ashwin failed to make much of an impact. The problem for Team India is that if they change their tactics overnight and go back to Chahal, it wouldn’t be fair to expect him to deliver right away. He has been warming the benches right through the team’s World Cup campaign.A sudden change in heart will not send out the right signal. At the same time, sticking with Ashwin comes with its own risks. A massive quandary for India for sure.
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