30 Years Later II
Nov 10, 2022
England treated Australia with utter contempt in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup. Today, they did much worse to India:
Since that defeat to Ireland, where they kept second-guessing themselves, England have batted and bowled with ultimate clarity. The selection of Hales was one of ultimate clarity. He came with solid experience in Australian conditions. They needed that experience. Buttler made the call. And now here is the payoff.
A player who, for a long time, came to be known as a disruptive force within the England team was given a second chance. And he's repaid their faith with an innings that broke the biggest superpower in the world of cricket.
Hales equalled India's tally of sixes all by himself - seven - reducing their bowlers to rubble.
The Indians have made a terrible habit of not winning major titles:
- 2017 Champions Trophy final: Pakistan crushed them.
- 2019 World Cup semi-final: smothered by the Kiwis.
- 2021 Test Championship final: Kiwis, again.
- 2021 T20 World Cup first match: losing by ten wickets to Pakistan.
- 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final: annihilated by England.
India's major problem? Their bowling attack is not strong enough to win gold. They wouldn't end up with multiple ten-wicket defeats if they did.
On Sunday, we should get a proper battle. The fierce, fire-breathing English batsmen vs. the dangerous, volatile Pakistani bowlers. "The Legend" Ben Stokes vs. "The Falcon" Afridi. Wouldn't it be fantastic if the scores were level after 40 overs?