India vs West Indies: Virat Kohli's golden-arm and other talking points from second World T20 semi-final
India lost the match by seven wickets with two balls to spare.
New Delhi: It certainly is not the post mortem for India's crestfallen heroes after yesterday's seven-wicket defeat to a freewheeling West Indies outfit, which was spurred by a supposed to be jet leg Lendl Simmons.
As in any other high stake clash, the India-West Indies match at the historic Wankhede Stadium on Thursday had plenty of takeaways for either side.
But for us, fans, here are five talking points from the second semi-final of the 2016 World Twenty20.
1. Out-muscled in Mumbai: Singles vs boundaries
Running between the wickets is still one of the holiest aspects of cricket, which has long ceased to be a gentleman's game. But who needs running when you come with such heavy artillery as the West Indian sides.
Yesterday, the Windies out-muscled India to make their second World T20 final. India scored 192 runs, with more than half of the runs coming from running. In contrast, 76.84% of West Indies' runs came from boundaries.
India had 17 fours and four sixes, while West Indies have 20 fours and 11 sixes. Meaning Windies needed to score only 47 runs 89 deliveries.
2. Jinxed! Hosts continue to bite the dust
This is the seventh edition of the T20 World Cup and India's exit in the semis meant that the 'jinx' stays intact. No host has ever won this competition.
It all started with India beating Pakistan at Johannesburg in 2007, with the hosts South Africa failing to make the knock-outs. In the following edition, Pakistan redempted themselves, winning the title after defeating Sri Lanka in the final. Hosts England and defending champions India failed to survive the Super 8 Test.
England won the third edition, beating traditional rivals Australia in the Bridgetown final. Hosts West Indies were eliminated in the Super 8s. In 2012, in Sri Lanka, the Calypso cricketers gift themselves the title, defeating host Sri Lanka in the final.
Following the trend, Sri Lanka beat India in Dhaka to win their first title in three finals. Hosts Bangladesh, as expected failed to cross the revamped second stage, called Super 10.
3. Injured for injured! Flown-in Simmons
Lendl Simmons withdrew himself from the West Indies squad due to injury. He failed to make the India trip due to a back injury,and was replaced by opening batsman Evin Lewis.
That was in the first week of March. And when the March ends on 31, the Mumbai Indian player ended India's campaign. The 31-year-old was flown-in from Port of Spain to replace another injured player, Andre Fletcher.
Windies, enduring a horrible start to the run-chase against India, rode on to Simmons' unbeaten 82 to set up a date with England.
4. Kohli's hare-footed sprints, golden arm akin to Tendulkar
This edition of T20 World Cup is all about Virat Kohli. The Indian star has consolidated his position as world's premier batsman in the shorter formats of the game, in just five matches.
He's always hungrier, which more or less made the player that we know him today. But another aspect of his game was unveiled during the tournament. His running, not that plain rotating part of the game.
He ran like a man possessed, and he seemed to have moulded his body and mind to do the same. The sight of him sprinting between the wickets, it's insane. His unbeaten knock of 89 runs from 47 balls included 19 singles and ten doubles.
He was also summoned to bowl, and rolled his golden arm, getting a wicket off the very first ball. Many were reminded how Sachin Tendulkar bowled that last over against South Africa in 1992 Hero Cup. Result, though, were different, as Windies won the match with two balls remaining, with Kohli at the enduring the pain of bowling the last over in a losing cause.
5. Catch or no catch, no-balls still cost
Like running between the wickets, catching is also a vital aspect of cricket. There goes the saying, catches win matches. But on Thursday, India took all the catches, but the result was far from satisfying.
Result, two of those catches were off no-balls. And strangely, letting off a single batsman, and he happened to be man-of-the-match Lendl Simmons. No balls are likely to be topic of many mohalla sabhas and what not.
Simmons was on 18, with Ravichandran Ashwin bowling his first over. Jasprit Bumrah took a brilliant diving catch at short third man. And India celebrated. But when the legality of the delivery was checked, Ashwin's front foot was caught overstepping. It happened in the penultimate delivery of the sixth over.
Then, Ashwin took a catch at cover, off the last ball of 14th over. But it turned out, Hardik Pandya also has overstepped.