ICC World Cup 2019: Team India’s journey to the semi-finals

Team India is currently at the top of points table of ICC World Cup 2019, with 15 points.

ICC World Cup 2019: Team India’s journey to the semi-finals Pic courtesy: ICC

The Men in Blue have finally made it to the semi finals of ICC World Cup 2019 and are ready for a clash against New Zealand at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester. Apart from one loss against England and a washed-out match against the Black Caps, the side led by Virat Kohli has won all its matches in the tournament so far. In a total of 9 matches, India won seven, lost one and one match abandoned without toss.

Team India is currently at the top of points table of ICC World Cup 2019, with 15 points in its kitty. The net run rate of India is +0.809. Here’s a look at the journey of team India in the world cup so far:

India vs South Africa
Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton
Result: India won by 6 wickets

India’s first match of ICC World Cup 2019 was against South Africa wherein skipper Virat Kohli lost the toss and was invited by Faf du Plessis to field first. India’s fierce bowling attack in the match confined South Africa to 227 for the loss of 9 wickets in 50 overs. While Yuzvendra Chahal claimed four wickets in the match, pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah took two wickets each. The Proteas failed to put up any high individual score, with the maximum being scored by Chris Morris, who managed to hit 42 runs off 34 balls.

However, in the first match itself, India’s star opener Rohit Sharma announced the manner in which he would play throughout the tournament. Even in the low scoring match, Sharma stood out by hitting an unbeaten 122 runs off 144 balls. India won the match by 6 wickets, with 15 balls remaining.

India vs Australia
Venue: Kennington Oval, London
Result: India won by 36 runs

When India and Australia met at The Oval early in the tournament, skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat, setting the tone for a high-scoring clash. And at the end of the innings, India accumulated 352 runs for the loss of just five overs, setting a huge target for the Aussies. Opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma set a solid foundation for India, scoring 117 and 57 runs, respectively. And them came Kohli, who mercilessly decimated the bowling attack of Australia by hitting 82 runs on 77 balls.

In response, Australia started well, with its top three batsmen – David Warner (56), Aaron Finch (36) and Steve Smith (69), contributing a total of 161 runs. But the team could not afford to pose a tough competition to India, as they could score just 316 runs by the end of 50 overs. Indian pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah claimed three wickets each while Yuzvendra Chahal bagged two.

India vs Pakistan
Old Trafford, Manchester
Result: India won by 89 runs through Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method

When the arch rivals met at Old Trafford, it was expected to be a clash of titans, but turned out to be a one-sided affair. In a move criticised by many, Pakistan’s skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and invited the Men in Blue to bat first.

It was Rohit Sharma yet again who took on Pakistani bowlers from the front and hit the balls on all sides of the ground. He scored a hard-hitting 140 runs off 113 balls while his opening partner, KL Rahul hit two sixes and three fours to score 57 off 78 balls. Captain Kohli once again shone by hitting 77 on 65 balls.

The highest scorer from Pakistan was Fakhar Zaman, who hit 62 runs off 75 balls. He was followed by Babar Azam and Imad Wasim, who scored 48 and unbeaten 46, respectively. Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav bagged two wickets each. The game was partially affected by rain and India won by 89 runs through the DLS method.

India vs Afghanistan
The Rose Bowl
Result: India won by 11 runs

It was a match where the strong batting line-up of India was expected to set a mammoth target for Afghanistan. But despite Kohli winning the toss, the same could not happen, thanks to a smart bowling strategy of Afghanistan. At the end of 50 overs, India could score just 224 runs for the loss of eight wickets. While Kohli and Kedar Jadhav scored 67 and 52 runs, respectively, Rohit Sharma departed cheaply for just one run. None of the Afghanistan bowlers went without a wicket. Gulbadin Naib and Mohammad Nabi claimed two wickets each.

Chasing the low target, Afghanistan were all out from 213 in 49.5 overs. The highest scorer from the side was Mohammad Nabi, who hit 52 runs off 55 balls. India won the match by 11 runs.

India vs West Indies
Old Trafford, Manchester
Result: India won by 125 runs

After their clash with Pakistan, India were back at Old Trafford to face West Indies. India won the toss and decided to bat first. At the end of 50 overs, India had scored 268 runs for the loss of seven wickets, thanks to 72 runs off 82 balls by Kohli.

West Indies failed to put up a competitive chase, with all its players getting out for a total of 143 runs in just 34.2 overs. Mohammed Shami led the bowling attack as he claimed four wickets by conceding just 16 runs in 6.2 overs. India won the match by 125 runs.

India vs England
Edgbaston, Birmingham
Result: England won by 31 runs

India’s first setback in the tournament came against England, who won the toss and chose to bat first. Skipper Eoin Morgan’s team started well, with openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow scoring 66 and 111 runs, respectively. Though Mohammed Shami registered an impressive performance by clinching five wickets for 69 runs, the English managed to shine out, setting a target of 338 runs for the Men in Blue.

When India came out for the chase, opener KL Rahul was sent back to the pavilion without getting off the mark. However, Rohit Sharma hit 102 off 109 balls and skipper Kohli managed to score 66 runs on 76 balls. Later, Mahendra Singh Dhoni also batted well, scoring unbeatable 42 off 31 balls. But team India failed to meet the target by scoring just 306 runs for the loss of five wickets at the end of 50 overs. The hosts won the match by 31 runs.

India vs Bangladesh
Edgbaston, Birmingham
Result: India won by 28 runs

On the same ground, India next played Bangladesh in a match that sealed their berth in the semi finals of ICC World Cup 2019. India batted first after winning the toss and both the openers, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma performed exceptionally well. While Sharma hit 104 off 92 balls, Rahul played 92 balls to score 77 runs. At the end of 50 overs, India were 314/9.

Though Bangladesh star batsman Shakib Al Hasan scored 66 runs, his other teammates failed to compliment his innings. The only other batsman who stood out was Mohammad Saifuddin, who hit 51 runs off 38 balls. They were all out in 48 overs after scoring just 286 runs. India won the match by 28 runs.

India vs Sri Lanka
Headingley Carnegie, Leeds
Result: India won by 7 wickets

Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat first, aiming to set a competitive target for India. The openers departed cheaply and Sri Lanka failed to impress early on until when Angelo Mathews walked him. The middle-order batsman hit a century – 113 runs off 128 balls – and later Lahiru Thirimanne added 53 more runs to the scorecard. They set a target of 264 for India to chase batting second.

In response, both Indian openers – KL Rahul (111 runs off 118 balls) and Rohit Sharma (103 off 94 balls) – hit centuries, leaving little for the others to do. India chased the target in just 43.3 overs and won by 7 wickets, with 39 balls remaining.