India vs England – T20 World Cup semifinal: Weather forecast, pitch, Kohli

Who: India vs England
What: ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 semifinal
When: Thursday, June 27, 10:30am local time (14:30 GMT)
Where: Providence Stadium, Georgetown, Guyana
How: Follow Al Jazeera’s live coverage

All through the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, India have fought hard to keep a monkey off their back: the heartbreaking loss against Australia in the 50-over ICC Cricket World Cup final in November.

Now, they have to deal with another one: avenging the 2022 T20 World Cup semifinal loss at England’s hands in Australia. And it wasn’t just any loss, it was a 10-wicket hammering in which the eventual champions blew away a team dotted with big-name IPL players.

But India’s captain Rohit Sharma refused to be drawn into any flashbacks or plans of plotting revenge when his side takes on England in the second semifinal in Guyana on Thursday.

“We want to treat this game as any other game that we have played in this tournament and [try] not to think about what has happened in the past,” Rohit told reporters on the eve of the match.

India have remained unbeaten in the tournament, similar to their run in the 50-over World Cup at home, but Rohit said his team are “not thinking too far ahead” about the final.

“Sometimes if you think too much, you then are not able to make the decisions that you want to make on the field,” he said.

The captain led his side from the front in their last Super Eights match against 50-over world champions Australia, scoring 94 runs at a strike rate of 224 on a pitch where only one other batter crossed the 30-run barrier.

But the 37-year-old downplayed the importance of his score, saying: “Individual scores and individual brilliance don’t matter that much. If someone does it, it’s good, but you shouldn’t focus on it that I have to score 70 runs, 90, or 100 runs.”

Virat Kohli’s form under the spotlight

India’s leading T20 batter Virat Kohli has failed to show his true brilliance in the tournament, but Rohit said he relies on his experienced players to make the best decisions for themselves when they are out on the field.

“We want to be a smart cricket team. We don’t want to just talk in one language, which is to just go and swing the bat. I think it is important for us to understand what conditions are in front of us and what we have to do.”

England, too, were asked about Kohli and whether this will be the game where the 35-year-old finds his form.

Matthew Mott, England’s coach, said his team was prepared to face the Indian batter’s wrath.

“He [Virat] is one of the players we have prepared well for,” Mott admitted in his pre-match news conference.

“We know how he can play; we know how destructive he can be and we also know his game smartness. If the game demands an innings of a different nature, he’s got that skill.”

Mott warned that his side will come out fighting in what has been billed as a thrilling semifinal and it will be a case of fighting India’s aggressive batting and bowling units with their own fiery bowling and big-hitting batters.

“What’s happened throughout this tournament means nothing when we face off against each other – big players step up in the big moments. We’re hoping our players do that but you can expect him [Kohli] to do exactly the same.”

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