India have two World Cups and one World T20 title under their belt. And in the last few years, especially since the advent of IPL, the overall standards of Indian cricket have risen to the level where they consistently go deep in major tournaments.
But, since their 2011 World Cup triumph, a trend has emerged and it not something the Indian team will be particularly proud of – defeats in semi-finals and finals.
India’s next major moment on the world stage after their 2011 triumph was the 2014 World T20 final where they mustered just 130-4 batting first against Sri Lanka and deservedly lost the title clash.
The next year, they remained unbeaten en route to the World Cup semi-final clash against hosts Australia and were defeated by a handsome margin of 95 runs.
Then, in the 2016 World T20 at home, India lost to eventual winners West Indies in the semi-finals. In the 2017 Champions Trophy, India stormed into the title game only to be thumped by Pakistan by 180 runs.
And now, in the 2019 World Cup in England, they topped the league stage only to lose to New Zealand in the semi-final. That’s five straight defeats in semis or finals of world events.
There are two ways to look at the results – India are good enough to make it to the latter stages of the tournament consistently, or they don’t have that little extra required to win crucial matches.
While the overall record for the Indian team at major events is impressive, they have no trophies to show for their efforts. And like New Zealand before them who have advanced to the semi-finals or final in five of the previous seven World Cups without winning the crown, the Indian team is now in danger of being always a bridesmaid, not quite the bride.
England swaggered into their first World Cup final in 27 years, blowing away rivals Australia by eight wickets in a magnificent display of attacking cricket that sets up a winner-takes-all date with New Zealand at Lord’s.
The three-times runners-up are now firm favourites to land the trophy for the first time on Sunday, having thrashed the Black Caps by 119 runs in the group stage, and head to the home of cricket on the back of a sensational performance at Edgbaston.
Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid performed wonders with the ball after Australia chose to bat first, reducing the visitors to 14 for three in a frenzied opening burst and ultimately restricting them to a lacklustre 223 all out.
England would have been mindful that they were bowled out for 221 and beaten by the same attack last month, but Jason Roy missed that game with a torn hamstring and his brilliant 85 put the game beyond a shellshocked Australia, who went down with 107 balls remaining.
Having already thrashed nine fours and five sixes, he would surely have gone on to a career-best hundred had he not been robbed in messy circumstances. Given caught behind despite making no contact with the ball, he instantly called for a review only to belatedly realise Jonny Bairstow had already used it up.
Roy lost his cool, remonstrating on the pitch and on his reluctant walk off, and needed soothing words from umpire Marais Erasmus to stop things getting worse.
The sour tone of his dismissal cannot detract from his outstanding efforts, which almost single-handedly banished England’s concerns about chasing, nor from the raucous celebrations which followed on the back of a decisive stand of 79 between Joe Root (49no) and Eoin Morgan (45no).
Archer and Woakes also excelled, taking two for 32 and three for 20, while Rashid bagged three scalps in his best display to date.
Provided by Press Association Sport
Steve Smith top-scored with 85 as Australia reached 223 against England in their 2019 World Cup semi-final on Thursday.
Smith, booed to and from the crease, held Australia’s innings together. The former skipper survived an lbw review off Mark Wood, Hawkeye revealing the ball would have only clipped the top of the stumps, but the former Australia captain was sent packing shortly afterwards.
England keeper Jos Buttler removed his glove and threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end, Smith short of his ground and already walking back to the pavilion before the replays were shown as the Aussies were reduced to 217-8 with three overs to go.
Smith’s departure was the start of Australia losing their last three wickets in the space of 12 balls.
Buttler’s run-out of Smith turned out to be a special one as his throw went between the legs of Smith before crashing into the stumps.