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ODI World Cup digest: India fill their boots and stay unbeaten, now for the knockouts


ODI World Cup digest: India fill their boots and stay unbeaten, now for the knockouts

The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup has reached the semi-final stage in the race to play the final on November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you the insights from our reporters on the ground.

Top Story: India go 9-0 as Shreyas and Rahul smash hundreds to beat Netherlands

India 410 for 4 (Shreyas 128*, Rahul 102, Rohit 61, Kohli 51, Gill 51) beat Netherlands 250 (Nidamanuru 54, Engelbrecht 45) by 160 runs

Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul led India’s batting masterclass as the hosts completed their undefeated run into the knockouts with a hammer blow to Netherlands, who ended their World Cup with a 160-run defeat.
Centurions Shreyas and Rahul staged a 208-run partnership after a 100-run stand between first-wicket pair Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill had laid the foundation for India’s 410 for 4. Virat Kohli also passed fifty and put on 71 with Shreyas as the Netherlands bowlers – save for a short period as Kohli bedded in – had no rebuttal for an India batting line-up which swung the door off its hinges as it burst into the room and delivered an overpowering monologue with the home crowd hanging off every word.

Match analysis: Rahul flicks switch to finally show the World Cup his full range

The flicked six has a special place in World Cup history. Viv Richards off Mike Hendrick. Yashpal Sharma off Bob Willis.

KL Rahul off Paul van Meekeren probably won’t join those two shots in cricketing folklore. It didn’t come in a final or semi-final but a dead-rubber league game against one of the weaker attacks of the tournament. And flicked sixes are no longer earth-shattering events. Flicked sixes in 2023 are perhaps as common as sixes of any kind were in the ODIs of 1979 and 1983.

What was remarkable about this particular shot, then, was that it took until the tournament’s final league game for Rahul to unveil it at this World Cup.

Must Watch: Anil Kumble assesses India

Semi-final build-up: Labuschagne vs Stoinis: Australia’s big call

Marnus Labuschagne or Marcus Stoinis. Who survives? For the first time at this ODI World Cup, Australia look like having a full complement of 15 players to select from for their semi-final against South Africa which means the selectors will finally need to take a call on the structure of the top seven.

Each time during the group stage that it appeared that decision would need to be made, there was a natural vacancy. It means that the big judgement over who misses out has not yet been needed, but barring any further injury problems ahead of facing South Africa on Thursday that moment will arrive in Kolkata.

Semi-final build-up: ‘Artistic hunters’ SA draw inspiration from tiki-tika for World Cup success

Tiki-taka is a style of play mostly associated with the Spanish football team that won the 2010 World Cup, which was hosted in South Africa (so maybe there’s the link) and is basically about maintaining possession, usually through short passes. Translating it to cricket strategy isn’t straightforward but Enoch Nkwe, South Africa’s director cricket, explains it as having an understanding of how to “rebuild without having to put yourself under pressure and continue moving the game forward”.

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