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Luck, captaincy, bowling: How India Crushed Scotland

By NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
Last updated on: November 06, 2021 11:29 IST
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Mohammad Shami celebrates the wicket of Alasdair Evans. Shami and Jadeja fiinished with identical figures of 3 for 15.

IMAGE: Mohammad Shami celebrates Alasdair Evans's wicket. Shami and Ravindra Jadeja finished with identical figures of 3 for 15. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Virat Kohli, who turned 33 on Friday, November 5, found luck favouring him at the toss in the Super 12 match against Scotland, another must-win encounter in Dubai, a venue where the flip of the coin plays a crucial hand in deciding the fate of matches.

 

If winning the toss was a good omen for the Indian cricket team, Kohli marshalling his bowlers around perfectly only proved that old adage right that sometimes one also makes their own luck.

Kohli made the right bowling changes at the right time. He went by his gut and experience and played all his five main bowlers just when India needed to keep the lid on Scotland.

And the Indian bowlers delivered and how! That man Jasprit Bumrah started the rut and eventually Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami, both with excellent figures of 3 for 15, sent the Scotland team back in the dugout inside 18 overs dismissing them for a paltry 85!

After being hit for a six in the first over by Scott Munsey, Bumrah came back to remove Kyle Coetzer in his next over to bowl a wicket-maiden.

Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with Virat Kohli after taking the wicket of Scotland's Matthew Cross

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with Virat Kohli after taking Matthew Cross's wicket. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Munsey was the better of the two openers and after that Bumrah six, he gave Ravichandran Ashwin some stick too but his stay was cut short by Shami in the 6th over, which was a wicket-maiden -- the second of the night.

Those early strikes didn;t allow the Scots to bounce back as both Shami and Bumrah peppered them with toe crushers.

Jadeja was smartly brought in after the Powerplay. His twin strike leaving Scotland in disarray. He first had Richie Berrington out for a duck as he got one to turn after pitching, it beat the outside edge of Berrington's bat before turning in to hit the stumps before taking out No 3 bat Matthew Cross leg before to shave off the top order.

A mini fight-back from Calum MacLeod and Michael Leask later, Jadeja struck again to break Scotland's backbone, taking out Leask for 21.

Shami's double strike at the back end only made matters worse for the clueless Scots who were eventually all out for 85 in 17.4 overs.

Not only did India have to win this match, they had to do it by a handsome margin, because -- Net Run Rate. Yes, that factor that most teams rely on when the exit gates of a tournament are at touching distance.

India's torrid start to the tournament meant India had to breach the target of 86 inside 7.1 overs. And with Rohit Sharma and K L Rahul setting up a momentum from the get go only meant that India were well on their way to a handsome victory.

Scotland's bowlers mostly erred in line and length, bowling too straight and too full, while the Indian openers made merry on the leg side.

KL Rahul struck a 19-ball 50 to give India a blistering start

IMAGE: K L Rahul struck a 18-ball 50 -- the fastest in the 2021 T20I World Cup -- to give India a blistering start. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

Rahul smashed an 18-ball fifty as India chased down the paltry target in 6.3 overs to boost their NRR, which is now the best among all teams in Group 2.

Rahul (50) hit three boundaries in Brad Wheal's first over to signal India's intention to quickly wrap up the victory.

At the other end, Rohit (30 off 15 balls) was equally aggressive before Wheal had him out LBW.

Rahul's blistering fifty was decorated by three sixes before he holed out in the deep.

It took Suryakumar Yadav to send the ball sailing straight down the ground for a six to seal their easy victory.

India's NRR (+ 1.6.19) may be the best in the group now but Kohli and his men are still not out of the woods. They have to win the match against Namibia again by a massive margin as well as rely on Afghanistan to beat New Zealand to have a backdoor entry into the semis.

India still have work to do to have a semblance of a chance to progress in the competition, but for the time being enjoy this victory and keep their fingers crossed.

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NORMA ASTRID GODINHO

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