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Why India lost the World Cup semi-final to England

Sunil Sarpal analyses the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup – semi-final between England and India

Jos Buttler leads England to victory

England beat India comprehensively in the semis. England won the toss and decided to make first use of the ball.

After the match, Kapil Dev very rightly pointed out that Indians are chokers. (Although this tag was originally awarded to the South African team in 1991)

Before the start of the match, Sunil Gavaskar made a valid point – that Indians chase better than setting a target.

I personally attributed India’s defeat to ‘Law of Averages’ over any other pointer. One bad day in office and India is out of the ICC World Cup.

There are some valid questions on the selection of the side.

1) What is the utility of Axar Patel in the side? Does he fit into T-20 side, if yes, then on what basis – batting or bowling or in the category of being a bits and pieces player? He is neither a free flowing batsman, nor does he spin the ball judiciously.

2) What is Ashwin’s contribution in the side? Batsmen hit him for sixers at will. He is effective only on turning tracks.

3) Rohit Sharma being the captain of the side, performed little in terms of batting. How can a non-performing captain lead from the front?

4) In this match, both Bhuvi and Arshdeep were not disciplined in line and length and gave room invariably to batsmen to play freely.

England Captain Buttler, once settled, scored heaps of runs and India did not have the arsenal to get his scalp.

Indians batted poorly during first 6 overs and scored only 36 runs for the loss of KL Rahul. Another noticeable fact is, that Kohli does not score as quickly as Hardik or Surya K Yadav.

Making a mockery of Kartik vs Pant selection does not leave a good taste and is not a healthy sign for their confidence. As if this is a musical chairs game for them.

One more selection error, if not made, could have strengthened Indian batting. It was the non-inclusion of specialist batsman Hooda in place of bits and pieces Axar Patel.

In a nut-shell, India lost the match because of its own selection errors.