Chennai: Two-time champion India survived a late scare to secure its place in the semifinals at the Cricket World Cup and eliminate Bangladesh from playoff contention. Virat Kohli’s team beat Bangladesh by 28 runs at Edgbaston last night.
Men in Blue have in the past lifted the trophy in 1983 and 2011. They reached semifinals in 1987, 1996 and 2015.
Interestingly, India entered super six stage in 1999 and lost out in 2003 finals.
Remember in the last edition of World Cup India lost to Australia in the semifinals. It was the second time since 1983 that India failed to defend their World Cup title.
Says Indian skipper Kohli, “We are very happy that we saw ‘Q’ (Qualified) in front of the team in the table now. Another game is an opportunity for us to do the same things we have done so far in the tournament, and I think that will keep us in the frame of mind heading towards the semi-final. And as I said, we are really really happy that we qualified for the semi-final with one more game to go.”
Speaking about Team India’s show, Ganapathy, a cricket coach from Tambaram, says, “They played it well. They are a consistent side. Barring the loss against England, they have shown determination to win and they were committed on field.”
He said, “The bowlers have raised their arms. Be it Bumrah, Shami or Bhuvi, our fast bowlers have been bang on target. They vary their pace according to conditions. It is a welcome sign going into semifinals.”
Kannan, a cricket-buff, says, “Our batting in the slog overs is a cause of concern. They could not get it going. Even the likes of Dhoni is finding it difficult. With Pant coming at four, it sounds a wise decision. He can change the complexion of the game with his lusty blows.”
“The team should use Dinesh Karthik well. He has proved to be very useful especially in chasing big scores,” he says and adds, “Though we have lost Dhawan and Vijay Shankar to injuries, Rahul and pant have stepped up well.”
A section of fans are confident that Team India will continue its good run. “They are a balanced side and have the thirst to win,” they say.