It was a very good score: Axar Patel on India's 172-run target to England in semi-final match

It was a very good score: Axar Patel on India's 172-run target to England in semi-final match
Image source: ICC

Providence, Guyana: Star India spinner Axar Patel said that the Men in Blue's 172-run target to England in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2024 was a 'very good score'.

Axar was named the 'Player of the Match' after his stupendous performance in the second innings. He bagged three wickets for 23 runs in his four-over spell at an economy rate of 5.80.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Axar revealed that India skipper Rohit Sharma told his teammates that the pitch in Guyana was very difficult and it was very difficult to hit a big shot.

"I think we could have easily defended at 170. It was a very good score. The way the wicket was behaving, when we spoke to Rohit [Sharma], he said it was very difficult to hit a big shot because the odd ball is spinning and the odd ball is also staying down, skidding on. So that was our thought that 150-160 is a very good score, we can defend it. So, when we made 170, we knew that we made 10-15 runs more and the plan was the same," Axar said.

The India spinner added that it was difficult to add runs in the powerplay.

"Obviously, it is difficult in the powerplay, but when you know that you are getting help from the wicket, then at that time, without thinking much, without doing any extra work, I thought that the more I keep it simple, the easier it will be for me. Because, when we talked in the dressing room that it's not an easy wicket, then after that batsman came and told me that he will charge something else, it's not that easy for me to hit in front, and I couldn't hit from the back foot because the ball was not coming. My plan was to make it difficult for him and force him to think of playing some new shot. So, that's what happened on the first ball. That was our plan," he added.

Recapping the match, Jos Buttler-led England won the toss and decided to bowl against Rohit Sharma's India.

Rohit Sharma (57 runs from 39 balls, 6 fours and 2 sixes) and Suryakumar Yadav (47 runs from 36 balls, 4 fours and 2 sixes) helped India power to 171/7. Hardik Pandya (23 runs from 13 balls, 1 four and 2 sixes) and Ravindra Jadeja (17* runs from 9 balls, 2 fours) also played a supporting role in the first inning.

Chris Jordan led the England bowling attack after he bagged three wickets and gave away 37 runs in his three-over spell.

During the run chase, England failed to understand the nature of the surface and eventually could only reach a total of 103 in 16.4 overs. Harry Brook (25 runs from 19 balls, 3 fours) and Jos Buttler (23 runs from 15 balls, 4 fours) were the only standout batters for the Three Lions.

Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav led the Indian bowling attack with both of them picking up three wickets in their respective spells and helping India clinch a 68-run win. Jasprit Bumrah bagged two wickets while defending the 172-run target.

The final of the T20 World Cup is now perfectly set as the clash between the unbeaten sides, India and South Africa, is set to take place in Barbados on Saturday.