Adil Rashid, India’s top three and a premature death

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They talk a lot about ‘the death’ in T20 cricket. We’re not sure it’s an appropriate label for the latter stages of India’s T20 World Cup semi-final innings. They were already on life support after six overs and rigor mortis had pretty much set in by the end of the 12th when Adil Rashid finished his spell.

The conventional ‘death’ was actually pretty great for India. While Hardik Pandya could definitely have improved on his 63 off 33 balls, he could only realistically have done so by not treading on his stumps off the final delivery.

So we’re not talking about a great stack of runs left unclaimed here. Hardik did his bit. The problem was the platform.

We’ve been watching a programme called ARCTIC ALONE recently. (It seems wrong to write the title in anything but upper case.) It’s a survival show where they dump 10 people in Alaska at the start of autumn with a smattering of useful items and challenge them to last 100 days. (They even have to do all the filming themselves.)

It’s lonely and tough and at times disgusting. (Roland is keeping a musk ox’s brain in a bag made from its scrotum and occasionally clawing bits out to use as a face balm.) One of the main things they need to do is of course catch/gather food. A big job if they manage that is contriving a place to store the food so that it doesn’t get eaten by a bear.

Joel, a South African fella, thought he’d go aerial. He topped three trees (getting knocked off his homemade ladder when one trunk fell) and built an elevated platform between them. He took a while over this construction project and made sure it was robust. A few days later, he discovered that wolverines could climb.

The moral here is that not every platform is a good one. Sometimes you spend a long time slowly building one only to find out that you’ve pissed away an awful lot of time and energy that you can never get back.

India were 38-1 after their six-over powerless play. Rohit Sharma was on 20 off 18 balls and Virat Kohli was on 12 off 13. After Adil Rashid had bowled three more overs and finished his stint, India were 77-3 and Kohli was on 29 off 26 balls.

For all the focus on England’s batting over recent years, we are entirely adamant that Adil Rashid has been their best player of this limited overs era. He’s not had a flawless tournament this time around, but delivered 1-20 off his four overs today.

“We kept it tight, kept them under pressure, and I felt okay,” he said at the innings break.

Yeah, Rash. You’re within your rights to feel okay after that effort.

So 12 overs in and India had built what turned out to be a rather pointless platform for ‘the death’.

Obviously it’s not as simple as just hitting out sooner. You can kind of tell from Say/Sy‘s head position that this one didn’t go precisely where he intended.

Nevertheless, 77 runs in that 12-over period looks outright preposterous now that the dust is settling.

Jos Buttler and Alex Hales made 63 runs in the first six overs of England’s innings and 123 in the first 12. It was an approach that bought them a surfeit of time.

It depends who you ask, but the death overs are often considered to be the final four.

India made 58.

England made zero.

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  1. I shall be writing a letter of complaint in the strongest possible terms about this.

    The England batting innings was a travesty. England fans have come to expect something far more nerve-wracking than that. It’s what we live for. It’s what we pay our inflated sports channel subscriptions for.

    Daisy was just giggling and enjoying herself by around the eighth over – she probably even got to her appointment on time. Fran wrote in to say that she felt like she was in an alternative universe. Backs of sofas the length and breadth of England are gathering dust rather than getting overcrowded with stout yeomen and women cowering and averting their eyes.

    Can someone around here explain what just happened? The above piece (with all respect to you KC) merely touches the surface of our confusion.

    1. Shove it up your arse, we’re the best team in the world, never mind anybody else, I can’t spake, etc.

    2. Ged, your inflated sports channel subscription will be redundant on Sunday as Channel 4 has got the crickeeeeeeeet!

  2. Is the expectation now that Pakistan will always defy expectations? So winning the final would, in its adherence to the tired old trope of Pakistan defying expectations, mean that they had failed to defy expectations?

    Or will England be punished for having a captain who fails personality-wise to embody the English arrogance, ruthlessness and aggression-shading-into-sadism that successful England teams are traditionally expected to have – as exemplified by the captains who won their previous two world cups?

    On balance, I think the Narrative calls for a Pakistan win. But Jos could turn it around if he can grow a pencil moustache and start wearing a monocle.

    1. Jos actually does have a nasty streak.

      And by ‘previous two world cups’ I assume you’re talking about Bobby Moore and Martin Johnson?

      1. I guess there’s Collingwood and Morgan, though I wouldn’t say those words apply to them (except maybe “ruthlessness”)

  3. It’s going to rain for two days. We’re going to share the trophy with Pakistan. What a business.

    Can’t they just play rock paper scissors?

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