India vs England – T20 World Cup semifinal: Weather forecast, pitch, Kohli

England expect Virat Kohli to ‘step up’ in the match, but are ready to fight India’s aggression with some of their own.

Cricket - ICC T20 World Cup 2024 - Group A - India v Pakistan - Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York, United States - June 9, 2024 India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Babar Azam REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Rohit Sharma's India will be looking to book a place in their second straight ICC Men's World Cup final [Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

Who: India vs England
What: ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 semifinal
When: Thursday, June 27, 10:30am local time (14:30 GMT)
Where: Providence Stadium, Georgetown, Guyana
How: Follow Al Jazeera’s live coverage

All through the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, India have fought hard to keep a monkey off their back: the heartbreaking loss against Australia in the 50-over ICC Cricket World Cup final in November.

Now, they have to deal with another one: avenging the 2022 T20 World Cup semifinal loss at England’s hands in Australia. And it wasn’t just any loss, it was a 10-wicket hammering in which the eventual champions blew away a team dotted with big-name IPL players.

But India’s captain Rohit Sharma refused to be drawn into any flashbacks or plans of plotting revenge when his side takes on England in the second semifinal in Guyana on Thursday.

“We want to treat this game as any other game that we have played in this tournament and [try] not to think about what has happened in the past,” Rohit told reporters on the eve of the match.

India have remained unbeaten in the tournament, similar to their run in the 50-over World Cup at home, but Rohit said his team are “not thinking too far ahead” about the final.

“Sometimes if you think too much, you then are not able to make the decisions that you want to make on the field,” he said.

The captain led his side from the front in their last Super Eights match against 50-over world champions Australia, scoring 94 runs at a strike rate of 224 on a pitch where only one other batter crossed the 30-run barrier.

But the 37-year-old downplayed the importance of his score, saying: “Individual scores and individual brilliance don’t matter that much. If someone does it, it’s good, but you shouldn’t focus on it that I have to score 70 runs, 90, or 100 runs.”

Virat Kohli’s form under the spotlight

India’s leading T20 batter Virat Kohli has failed to show his true brilliance in the tournament, but Rohit said he relies on his experienced players to make the best decisions for themselves when they are out on the field.

“We want to be a smart cricket team. We don’t want to just talk in one language, which is to just go and swing the bat. I think it is important for us to understand what conditions are in front of us and what we have to do.”

England, too, were asked about Kohli and whether this will be the game where the 35-year-old finds his form.

Matthew Mott, England’s coach, said his team was prepared to face the Indian batter’s wrath.

“He [Virat] is one of the players we have prepared well for,” Mott admitted in his pre-match news conference.

“We know how he can play; we know how destructive he can be and we also know his game smartness. If the game demands an innings of a different nature, he’s got that skill.”

Mott warned that his side will come out fighting in what has been billed as a thrilling semifinal and it will be a case of fighting India’s aggressive batting and bowling units with their own fiery bowling and big-hitting batters.

“What’s happened throughout this tournament means nothing when we face off against each other – big players step up in the big moments. We’re hoping our players do that but you can expect him [Kohli] to do exactly the same.”

Weather forecast

Severe weather warnings have been issued in the Guyanese capital as heavy showers are forecast. Rain could interrupt parts of the game and could even lead to a complete washout.

Are there any special conditions and rules for the semifinal?

As the match is scheduled for a morning start, there is no provision for a reserve day. However, an additional 250 minutes have been allocated for the completion of the game.

What happens if a semifinal is washed out?

In case of a washout, or abandoned match, after the allocated extra time and reserve day, the team that finished on top of its Super Eights group will advance to the final.

In such a case [abandoned match], India will progress to the final.

What happens if a semifinal ends in a tie?

If a semifinal match ends in a tie, a super over will be played to determine the winner. If that, too, ends in a tie, subsequent super overs will be played until a winner emerges.

Pitch condition and toss

The pitch has produced a mixed bag of scores and has aided spin bowlers more than pacers.

The weather may have a say on how the pitch plays, but both teams can be expected to pack their sides with spinners.

Captains winning the toss have opted to bat first only once in the four matches hosted at the Providence Stadium. The results have been mixed, with two matches going the way of the team batting first and two the other.

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(Al Jazeera)

Head-to-head

The head-to-head ratio is nearly even after 23 T20 matches. India have won on 12 occasions, while England have won 11 times.

Their most recent T20 outing was in the semifinal of the 2022 T20 World Cup, where England cruised to a 10-wicket win.

Form guide

Apart from South Africa, India are the only other unbeaten side left in the tournament. Barring the match against Pakistan, where they found themselves in trouble for a short while before coming out on top, India have romped home to big wins in the tournament thus far.

England’s tournament began with a washed-out game against Scotland that could have gone either way, followed by a big loss against Australia. But the holders have shrugged off those defeats, and the one against South Africa in Super Eights, to blow away opposition in must-win games.

India: W W W W W
England: W L W W W W

India team news

India’s captain Rohit was asked in his pre-match news conference whether this will be the match where he fields four spinners in the playing XI, but he refused to be drawn into an answer and instead said they will take a call after having a proper look at the pitch.

To make way for a fourth spinner, India would have to drop either one of their two pace-bowling all-rounders or in-form pacers and neither of those two options seem probable.

India predicted XI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav

England team news

England, too, have a very settled playing XI and have only rotated one pace-bowler’s spot in their last few games. Reece Topley’s economy rate may help him retain his spot in favour of Mark Wood and Chris Jordan.

England predicted XI: Jos Buttler (captain and wicketkeeper), Phil Salt,  Will Jacks, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer,  Adil Rashid, Reece Topley

Source: Al Jazeera