India were playing at home and had the support of 1.3 billion people but in the end it wasn’t enough to stop a rampaging West Indian team that bludgeoned India out of the semi-finals at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.
The West Indians won a crucial toss and sent India into bat who made two changes to their side. M Pandey was brought in for the injured Yuvraj Singh and A Rahane was brought in for the struggling S Dhawan. The Indian openers had their best start in the tournament and Kohli continued from where he left off against the Aussies as they turned on the heat. India were looking to get close to 200 but some great death bowling by slow ball specialist Dwayne Bravo helped restrict India to 192.
It was a respectable score and once Bumrah got the dangerous Chris Gayle out in the second over, India must have thought the game was more or less over. However it wasn’t to be as the West Indians made sure they reached the boundary every over as J Charles, L Simmons and A Russell played fantastic knocks.
The Indian bowlers struggled to keep their line and length as there was considerable due on the outfield and a wet ball did not help things. L Simmons who scored 82 of just 51 balls had three lives and that proved to be too much for India. He was caught twice but both times were of no-balls sent down by R Ashwin and H Pandey. The third time he was caught on the rope by R Jadeja but replays showed his foot touching the rope.
R Ashwin was expected to play a crucial role in the semi-finals but he failed to live up to expectations in both the quarter-finals and the semi-finals having been hit out of the attack on both occasions and hence the skipper never had the confidence to have him bowl out his full quota of four overs.
During the post-match conference, skipper Dhoni said “No, it was not in my mind [to give Ashwin the ball], looking at Russell and the big hitters and the amount of purchase there was on offer. That was not the best time for him to bowl. Calcutta, I’m not sure what my thinking was then.”
Kohli not only delivered with the bat but also delivered with the ball taking the wicket of J Charles. He sent down the final over but never had enough runs to work with to keep the Windies quiet. The West Indians will now play England on Sunday for the T20 World Cup Championship.