A day full of agony for the Indian cricket fans
On the 24th of November, both, the men's and the women's Indian cricket team took the field against Australia and England respectively. While the men's team is on the tour of Australia, the women were playing the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. A win in this T20 series could level the three-match T20 series for the Men in Blue. For the Women in Blue, it was a knockout game, a win in which could take them to the finals.
However, it wasn't supposed to be a day, either of these teams could have wished for. Where on one hand, it was the team's fault, on the other, the weather did not help the cause. The women's team could not hold on to the form they had been carrying throughout the tournament.
The Indian girls were bundled out for a paltry total of 112, by the English team. In the case of Kohli's team, rain played the villain once again. After a rain-affected loss in Gabba, India had just got their rhythm right when rain showed up and washed away their hopes of levelling the series. The game at the MCG was called off due to excessive rains.
The Women's team has been on a roll, winning all four matches in the group stage and topping their pool. However, in the match against the ODI world champions, Harmanpreet and co. went down badly. The target of 113 was always going to be very easy for the English ladies. The English team chased it down without dropping a sweat, in just a little over 17 overs, with eight wickets to spare.
Wicketkeeper Amy Jones and right-hander Natalie Sciver, both scored a half-century to take England to the finals of the Women's World T20 2018, in the Caribbean. The Indian girls, after a successful run in the group stages, looked liked a different side altogether when they took the field. For a team that had been performing excellently throughout the tournament, such a disastrous end was not something the fans had been hoping for.
However, the fact that cannot be ignored is that before the tournament, this Indian team was nowhere in the list of favourites, and reaching the semi-finals will be considered as a fine achievement.
As far as the men's team is concerned, the tour started at the Gabba on the 21st. The first T20 saw Kohli winning the toss and choosing to field first. The Australian batsman showed great intent as they amassed a total of 158 runs, losing four wickets in 17 overs before rain halted the play. A little while later, India were asked to chase down 174 runs in 17 overs, which was somewhat unfair, but thanks to the DLS method, the chase started.
Rohit and Kohli, the two main batsmen in the Indian batting line-up, fell cheaply to Behrendorff and Zampa respectively. However, India recovered with a partnership of 51 between Pant and Kartik. Post that, three wickets fell down in succession only to find India just four runs short of the target.
The second T20 was on Friday, the 23rd and Kohli's boys had to win this one to keep the series alive. The boys did exactly that, executing their plans to perfection. The Australian team, asked to bat first again, was reduced to 41 for 4 inside of seven overs. This helped keep the run-rate under control. The Aussies were struggling against the Indian bowlers, who were all bowling in tandem.
The hosts were reduced to 132 for 7 before the rain played the spoil-sport, again. It kept pouring and pouring and the hopes of levelling the series kept getting washed away. Finally, the match had to be called off, and the Indians were bound to be upset. The Aussies would have definitely felt a little lucky there. Now, the Indians can only hope to level the series and wish that they don't see any rain again at the SCG.
Come Sunday, India will take the ground with the hope of putting their best foot forward and defeat the hosts to share the trophy.
So, on the whole, 23rd November was a day that the Indian cricket team and the fans would like to forget, with the girls crashing out of a World Cup and the boys losing out on a great opportunity.