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Home > England Vs India: Jonny Bairstow Clean Bowled With Defending Champions’ Chase Flatering

England Vs India: Jonny Bairstow Clean Bowled With Defending Champions’ Chase Flatering

By Rob Bagchi

Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of the second semi-final of the 2024 T20 World Cup in which India, the favourites, take on England, the defending champions, in Providence, Guyana for a place in Saturday’s final against South Africa.

India, who have not won the tournament since the inaugural event in 2007 and have been to only one other final, play England who are gunning to become the first team to win it three times and the first with back-to-back victories. Jos Buttler’s side have already lost twice in the tournament, beaten by Australia in the group stage and South Africa in the Super Eights while India, echoing their serene path through the home 50-over World Cup last autumn, have won all their matches apart from the dead rubber washout with Canada, though Pakistan really should have beaten them.

England’s problem, as ever against India, will be combatting their attack. They have won 11 and lost 12 of their 23 previous encounters in this format and, encouragingly, defeated them by 10 wickets at a neutral venue at this stage of the 2022 tournament but Jasprit Bumrah has seven wickets at 10 against them with an economy rate of 5.52 in four matches and Kuldeep Yadav has five in two matches at 11.6 with an economy rate of 7.25. Buttler, who has made four half centuries against them in 18 innings, is the only batsman with fairly consistent success against that attack, Phil Salt and Harry Brook having batted only four times between them against India, Jonny Bairstow averages 24.85 in 10 knocks, Moeen Ali 13.33 in seven and Liam Livingstone 25.50 in three.

As for England’s bowlers, Chris Jordan leads the way with 21 wickets at 25.42 (econ: 9.12), followed by Adil Rashid eight at 37.62 (7.52), Moeen seven at 31.28 (9.38) and Jofra Archer seven at 22.14 (7.75).

It’s definitely a bat first pitch – the highest score batting second so far after five games there in the tournament was West Indies 137 for five to beat Uganda who were the only other team to win batting second having blown Papua New Guinea over for 77. India traditionally like to bat first, England to chase but if Buttler wins the toss and the rains stay away, he ought to step on the throat of his own song and do what India would least like him to do.

One thought about the team today’s winners will play on Saturday (and we should remind you that India will go through if the match is washed out given their superior record coming into the match): South Africa have taken so much stick from traditionalists at home and mainly away for pivoting their resources and schedule away from Test cricket to white-ball cricket, following the example of West Indies in the preceding decade, their first appearance in a global tournament final, and especially should they win, may be seen by cash-strapped boards struggling to reward franchise superstars as a kind of vindication and the only way forward without a fairer split of TV income.

There may be more than meets the eye at stake in Saturday’s final.