India vs England – Why Team India Shouldn’t Worry Despite Rohit and Kohli’s Unchallenged Dominance in the 2023 World Cup

Cricbuzzteam, India vs England, Is there cause for concern about India, a team that hasn’t had the chance to bat first in the 2023 World Cup?

With 28 matches completed in the tournament, India stands as the only unbeaten team. South Africa, currently at the top of the table, suffered a surprising loss to the Netherlands in six games. India, on the other hand, is in second place with as many victories, only separated from South Africa by net run rate. In five matches so far, India has defeated Australia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and New Zealand. Now, they face defending champions England, and a win could almost secure their place in the World Cup semifinals for the second time in a row. However, in all those five wins, India hasn’t had the challenge of batting first.

India vs England: Rohit and Virat

In all their victories in this World Cup, India has been chasing a target. Captain Rohit Sharma has laid a strong foundation, while chase experts Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have maintained momentum, making India look unstoppable when chasing. They batted second in three matches and chose to field first in two. But can India be equally threatening when they set the target?

India still has four more league games to test their ability to set a competitive total. With a near-certain spot in the World Cup semifinals, now is the perfect time for India to take that risk. India wouldn’t want to face such a challenge in the knockout stage. But is there reason to worry about India not having the chance to bat first in this tournament?

The resounding answer is no, and the statistics back this up.

Since the last World Cup in 2019, India has won 20 out of 34 matches when batting first, the most by any team. However, they have lost 11 times, resulting in a win-loss ratio of 1.818, which is third behind South Africa (2.83 – 17/20) and Pakistan (1.85 – 13/20). But these numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Seven of those 11 losses occurred between the previous World Cup and November 2022. After the T20 World Cup in Australia last year, when India shifted their focus to the 50-over format, they lost only four times when batting first in 13 games, and they weren’t at full strength in three of those matches. During this period, India lost a match each during the tours of New Zealand, Bangladesh, and West Indies, and some key players like Kohli and Rohit were rested. Their only defeat with a full-strength squad was against Australia in Visakhapatnam in March, where they lost by 10 wickets.

India’s most recent successes when batting first with the World Cup squad include two significant wins in the Asia Cup – a 228-run victory against Pakistan and a 41-run win against Sri Lanka – before defeating Australia in Indore by 99 runs.

Therefore, India is ready for the challenge of batting first in the remaining league games, and it seems that the team management has also discussed this possibility.

“We haven’t explored it too much yet. So, we’ve done well with the opportunities we’ve had. However, it would be a great opportunity if we get to bat first in the next four games. It will be a good challenge for us to figure out how to pace the innings. It’s been a while since we’ve batted first,” said KL Rahul during the pre-match press conference on Saturday in Lucknow before the England game.”

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