Arch-rivals England and Australia lock horns in the second 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston for a place in the final at Lord’s against New Zealand.
The Kiwis had earlier beaten India in the first semi-final at Manchester to book their spot in a World Cup final for the second time in a row.
Hosts England are looking to bag their maiden World Cup title while defending champions Australia are chasing a record sixth crown. The Aussies have won all seven of their previous semi-final appearances in the competition.
Will Eoin Morgan’s men take one step closer to history for England or will Australia maintain their World Cup supremacy? Follow the ball-by-ball commentary from Birmingham below to find out.
Sourav Ganguly feels India committed a grave tactical blunder by not promoting MS Dhoni to No4 in the 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand at Manchester on Wednesday.
India were chasing a target of 240 runs but fell short by 18 runs after a horrendous start which saw them reduced to 5-3 and then 24-4 in no time at Old Trafford. India opted to bring in Dhoni at No7 in the batting order on Wednesday and Ganguly feels that it was the wrong move by skipper Virat Kohli.
“Dhoni should have batted up,” Ganguly told broadcaster Star Sports.
“You need that composure and not just his batting. He would not have allowed wickets to fall in cluster. Dhoni was there when Jadeja batted. Communication is strength. You can’t have Dhoni at number seven.
“As a finisher, he still has tremendous respect. He can still clear the field and that’s why he left it for last. It’s not that he can’t hit sixes but he thinks that’s the way to win ODI matches.”
The former India skipper’s sentiments were echoed by his former team-mate Sachin Tendulkar who questioned the decision to bat Dinesh Karthik at No5.
“The question here can be, in a crunch moment like this, would you not think of promoting Dhoni with experience on his back? Towards the end he kept talking to Ravindra Jadeja and he was controlling things,” Tendulkar stated.
“May be instead of Hardik Pandya, Dhoni should have come up. Batting Dinesh Karthik at number five was slightly out of the box I felt,” he added.
Meanwhile, former India stalwart VVS Laxman too expressed his lament at Dhoni’s batting position in the semi-final.
“Dhoni should have come ahead of Pandya. It was a tactical blunder,” said Laxman.
“Dhoni should have walked ahead of Dinesh Karthik. Stage was set for Dhoni. In 2011 final also, he promoted himself up to bat at number four ahead of Yuvraj Singh and won the World Cup,” he added.
India skipper Virat Kohli lamented 45 minutes of poor cricket by his side after they were knocked out by New Zealand in a thrilling 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final at Manchester on Wednesday.
India were set a target of 240 runs by the Kiwis but a horror start by the top-order cost the team dear before they ultimately fell to a 18-run defeat. The Men in Blue quickly found themselves reeling at 5-3 in the chase with the openers and Kohli falling cheaply to New Zealand’s pacers.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja raised India’s hopes with a defiant 77 off 59 deliveries but it proved to be too tall an order in the end as New Zealand booked their second World up final appearance on the trot.
“The game pretty much changed in those first 40 minutes when we were batting,” Kohli said after the loss.
“The pressure created was immense in those first 40, 45 minutes. And when you lose 3 for 5 it is very difficult to come back into the game.”
The India skipper stated that the loss to the Kiwis was a bitter pill to swallow for his team who had topped the round-robin phase with just one loss in eight games.
“Of course, very disappointed to just go out on the basis of 45 minutes of bad cricket is saddening and it breaks your heart also, because you have worked so hard throughout the tournament to build momentum,” said Kohli.
“You finish No. 1 in the table and then a spell of bad cricket and then you are out of the tournament completely. But you have to accept it.
“We are sad, but we are not, you know, devastated because of the kind of cricket that we played in this tournament. We know where we stood as a team and today we were not good enough and that is the nature of this tournament. A bad day in the knockout stage and you are out of the tournament.”
Meanwhile, Kohli’s poor form in World Cup knock-out clashes continued on Wednesday with the right-hander perishing for just one run to Trent Boult. The India superstar had been dismissed for scores of nine and one in the 2011 and 2015 World Cup semi-finals previously.
The 29-year-old’s frustration with the dismissal was clear to see as he flung his bat into the air following an unsuccessful review of the lbw decision.
“It is very disappointing not turning up when the team wanted me to. Obviously, it feels bad. Everyone gets disappointed when they get out so it was a natural reaction,” rued Kohli.