T20 World Cup 2024: Revisiting India’s historic journey

T20 World Cup 2024: Revisiting India’s historic journey

India win T20 World Cup 2024

India recorded their second T20 World Cup triumph at Bridgetown on Saturday. It was a memorable campaign for India as they beat South Africa in the final and remained unbeaten throughout the tournament. Although they won eight of the nine matches they played in the T20 World Cup 2024 and one was abandoned there was no lack of drama in their journey.

Group toppers

Bumrah-Hardik-Arshdeep shine from beginning; Pant leads against Pakistan

India started their campaign in New York with an easy victory over Ireland. Putting into bat, the Irish batters had no answer for the Indian bowlers as they were bowled out in 16 overs for just 96 runs with Hardik Pandya picking up three wickets and Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh grabbing two wickets each.

India chased down the target within 13 overs thanks to a fifty from Rohit Sharma and an unbeaten 36 from Rishabh Pant who played his first match for India after returning from the injury and finished the game with an astonishing reverse pull for six.

India’s second encounter was against the arch-rivals Pakistan and despite a not-so-perfect batting performance, Indian bowlers ensured another victory over Pakistan in an ICC event. Pant again led the batting with 42 but the Indian team could score a sub-per 119. Pakistan started strongly and Mohammed Rizwan scored 31 with Pakistan needing just 40 runs in the last six overs. But once Bumrah dismissed Rizwan the match turned on its head and some tight bowling from Bumrah, Arshdeep, and Pandya helped India to scrap a 6-run win.

SKY special while the India-born Netravalkar creates buzz

Even India’s win over the USA was dramatic as in a treacherous pitch they needed a Suryakumar Yadav masterclass to reach their target. 4 wickets for just 9 runs from Arshdeep ensured that the Americans could score only 110/8 in their 20 overs but India also had a terrible start as Saurabh Netravalkar dismissed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the first three overs of the chase. Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube completed the chase with an unbeaten 72-run partnership but at one stage it looked difficult for India who then benefitted by 5 penalty runs as USA bowlers failed to maintain the target time gap between the overs for three instances.

India’s match against Canada got washed out due to poor weather in Florida and they moved to Super Eight as the toppers from Group A.

Super Eight: India thrash Bangladesh, Rohit’s assault against Starc

In their first match against Afghanistan in a much better batting condition, they posted 181/8. Suryakumar again scored a fifty and got support from Pandya (32), Virat Kohli (24) and Pant (20). Indian bowlers then completed the job as the Afghans were bowled out for 134. Bumrah again delivered a magical spell to finish with 4-1-7-3 whereas Arshdeep continued his good outing with 3/36. India also drafted Kuldeep Yadav in place of Mohammed Siraj who also picked up two wickets.

India did even better against Bangladesh in their next match and put up 196/5. There were contributions throughout including Kohli (37), Pant (36), and Dube (34), however, the telling blow came from Pandya who scored fifty of just 27 deliveries. Bangladesh never challenged much during the chase as Kuldeep picked up 3/19 and Bumrah and Arshdeep picked up two wickets each.

Australians were blown away by a Rohit Sharma special. His 92 runs came in just 41 deliveries as he batted aggressively against all the Aussie bowlers. The icing on the cake was when he hit the dangerous Mitchell Starc for 29 runs in an over. Thanks to Rohit’s heroics and important contributions from Dube (28) and Pandya (27) India reached their highest score of the tournament, 205/5.

Australia tried their best with once again Travis Head leading the way with a 43-ball 76. But some great bowling and inspiring fielding by the Indians helped them to continue their winning run. Axar Patel’s catch to dismiss Mitchell Marsh and Bumrah’s slower to Head which he mistimed to be caught by Rohit, were the two memorable moments of the match. India comfortably won the match by 24 runs.

Semi-final: Same stage, same opponents, different result

India’s Semi-final was a repeat of the 2022 T20 World Cup Semi-final as they met England. India were beaten by 10 wickets but this time they took the perfect revenge as they got all the 10 wickets within 17 overs as England could score only 103 runs. India earlier scored 171/7 as Rohit again showed the way with a fifty and recorded a 68-run victory.

India vs South Africa, Final: India pull off a sensational 7-run win

In the final, both India and South Africa came with unbeaten record in the tournament. India won the toss but they did not have a good start as they lost both Rohit and Pant in the second over. When they lost Suryakumar at 34/3, fans expected the worst. But Virat Kohli showed his class after an indifferent tournament and Axar played the innings of his life. The duo added 72 runs before Axar was run out for 47. Kohli stayed till the 19th over and scored 76 with some brilliant stroke play. India eventually scored 176/7 which looked like a good score in the final.

South Africa also lost two wickets in the first three overs. But useful partnerships between Quinton de Kock (39) and Tristan Stubbs (31) took them to 70. At 106/4, David Miller joined Heinrich Klaasen and the duo added 45 runs in the next 21 balls. At that stage, they needed just 26 runs in the last four overs but Hardik Pandya’s magic shaw Klaasen dismissed for 52. The Indian bowlers kept fighting as Bumrah dismissed Marco Janssen in the 18th over and then Pandya picked up two more wickets in the final over. The catch Suryakumar Yadav grabbed in the 20th over became part of the Indian cricket folklore and will be discussed for the ages. Eventually, India completed their memorable campaign with a 7-run triumph over the Proteas.

Rohit Sharma finished the tournament with 252 runs and as the second-highest run scorer of the tournament. Arshdeep did even better as his 17 wickets helped him finish as the joint-highest wicket-takers in the tournament. Bumrah was almost unplayable in the tournament and his 15 wickets at an average of 8.26 and economy rate of 4.17 was rewarded with the Player-of-the-tournament award.

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