India’s road to ICC Champions Trophy 2017 semis: A smooth drive with a minor turbulence

India's thumping win over Pakistan set the ball rolling for the men in blue and from thereon they were expected to get into the semi-finals riding high on confidence. However, Sri Lanka recorded an extraordinary win to bring the blues back to reality.

Written by Rahul Sadhu | Updated: June 12, 2017 6:59 pm
icc champions trophy, champions trophy, india, india semi final, virat kohli, ms dhoni, bhuvneshwar kumar, jasprit bumrah, team india, ind vs ban, cricket news India’s captain Virat Kohli found good form in the final group game against South Africa. (Source: AP)

Post an uncertain period of participation in the upcoming Champions Trophy, team India has come a long way to deliver a string of impressive performances to sail into the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy. However, there was a minor turbulence when the men in blue lost to Sri Lanka in the second game. But from thereon team India recovered to put in a dominating performance against South Africa. In all the three matches that India has played so far, they have been disciplined and the batting has also been equally consistent.

Leading the way have been opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The duo brought up their 10th ODI 100 run partnership during the match against. This was also their fourth 100-run partnership in Champions Trophy.

The middle-order, which is also India’s biggest strength, has also come performed well in good time. Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni have all hit the purple patch and showed how on any given day they can destroy any bowling attack. Meanwhile, the bowling which seemed wayward in the match against Sri Lanka stood up to the task against South Africa and proved its mettle.

It was against Sri Lanka that India had a minor hiccup in its quest to qualify for the semi-finals stage. After India batted first and registered a score of 321, few would have given Sri Lanka a chance to chase down the total. However, they began cautiously and set up a good platform for the middle order to script a historic chase. The Indian bowling also drew a lot of flack for its waywardness and lack of incisiveness in this game.

However, in the third match, they came back strongly to give a clinical performance. The move to pick R Ashwin proved fruitful. The other bowlers in the side – Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja all chipped in with wickets at regular intervals. They bowled a consistently good line and length and kept the pressure on the Proteas batsman. Together the Pacers picked up 4 of the seven wickets that fell to bowlers.
Meanwhile, in the first match of the tournament things got off to a blockbuster start as India registered a thumping win over Pakistan by 124 runs(DL). India’s thumping win over Pakistan set the ball rolling for the men in blue and from thereon they were expected to get into the semi-finals before Sri Lanka recorded an extraordinary win to bring the blues back to reality.

In the semi-finals, India takes on Bangladesh at Edgbaston, Birmingham. After the World T20 quarter-final in Bengaluru, this is the first time that the two sides will take on each other in an ICC event. This promises to be another mouth-watering contest and spectators will be hoping that it turns out to be as exciting as the last encounter.

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