India progresses to semi-finals despite selection blunders

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Rohit and Rahul – brilliant opening

Rohit Sharma (104 with 7 fours and 5 sixes) and Lokesh Rahul (77 with 6 fours and a six) batted brilliantly to put on a record 180 runs for the opening wicket. And Jasprit Bumrah bowled a brilliant final over as India defeated a gallant Bangladesh by 28 runs.

The victory would have been more convincing if the team selection was more sensible. Imagine three wicket-keepers ”“ MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik ”“ in the Indian XI and only one spinner.

Ravindra Jadeja

Why three wicket-keepers and no all-rounder Ravi Jadeja who can bat aggressively, bowl spin and field like a superman? Can you explain the logic behind this reasoning? But for Bumrah taking the last two wickets, India could well have lost.

This victory took India to the semi-final with Sharma the Man of the Match. But he was lucky too. When on nine, he was dropped by Tamim Iqbal. If he was caught, would India have totalled 314? Remember Bangladesh made 286 runs.

But for this one error Sharma batted brilliantly to register his fourth century in the current World Cup.

The heroes for Bangladesh were left-arm pace bowler Mustafizur Rehman who captured 5 for 59, stylish batsman Shakib Al Hasan who scored 66 and Shabir Rahman (36) and Mohammad Saifuddin (51 not out) who batted till the end.

After 47 overs Bangladesh was 8 for 279 needing 36 runs off 18 balls with two wickets in hand and Saifuddin in splendid touch. But Bumrah clean bowled the last two batsmen and India won narrowly.

On the points table India is second only to Australia.

More late nights in the next fortnight but I’m loving it! Don’t you, readers?

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