In the Super 12 stage, all teams have already played three matches each, and as it currently stands, in Group 1 – which has been pegged as the Group of Death, New Zealand are sitting on top of the points table with two wins from three games, while one match was washed out. The Kiwis have been enjoying an immensely good run and have five points in their kitty and a strong net runrate of +3.850.
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In the Group 2, South Africa climbed to the top of the table after handing India their first loss of this World Cup.
As the race for the T20 World Cup semifinals heat up, in this article, we’ve taken a look at how several openers of the heavyweight teams have failed to fire at the top.
KL Rahul (IND):
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma formed a formidable opening pair for India. But Rahul, who returned to the field after an injury lay-off during the Asia Cup, is yet to find his lethal form.
On the other hand, skipper Rohit Sharma, who is known to be destructive at the top, hasn’t been the ‘Hit-man’ we all know. In the ongoing World Cup, the Indian skipper has hammered one half-century, but the pair haven’t fired in unison at the top.
India have played three matches so far and clinched two narrow wins and lost one.
In the first match blockbuster match against Pakistan, the Indian openers added just 7 off 11 for the opening stand. While KL Rahul departed for just 4 off 8, the Indian skipper fell for 4 off 4. Virat Kohli was the architect of the win as India clinched a thrilling four-wicket win.
Meanwhile, in the second match against Netherlands, the opening pair added just 11 off 16, with KL Rahul falling for just 9 off 12. Rohit Sharma, who hammered a stroke-filled half-century, went on to add 73 off 56 for the second-wicket with Kohli as India clinched a 56-run win over Netherlands.
In the big game against South Africa, the Indian line-up crumbled as they fell to their first loss in the tournament. At the top, Rohit and Rahul scored just 23 off 26 for the opening stand. While the skipper departed for just 15 off 14, Rahul once again failed to fire as he departed for just 9 off 14.
In the three matches played so far, Rahul has fallen for single-digits in all games.
KL Rahul’s scores so far:
vs Pakistan: 4 off 8
vs Netherlands: 9 off 12
vs South Africa: 9 off 14
Babar Azam & Mohammed Rizwan (PAK):
Pakistan have endured a tough run in this tournament and one of their biggest problems have been that their openers have failed to fire at the top. In last edition’s World Cup, the opening pair of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam was their key. But in the ongoing edition Down Under, both openers have failed to hand Pakistan a strong start.
While their bowling line-up is one of the most lethal attacks, the batters are overly dependent on their openers. With captain Azam not in his usual destructive form and Rizwan too failing to find the big knocks, Pakistan opened their World Cup with two straight losses and a scrappy win over Netherlands.
Last year, the pair had hammered the Indian bowlers around the park to hand India a historic loss in the World Cup. But in this World Cup campaign, Pakistan lost a wicket with just one run on the board, with skipper Babar Azam departing for a golden duck, while Rizwan fell for just 4 off 12. Pakistan opened their campaign with a loss to India.
The second game, saw heavyweights fall to a stunning loss to minnows Zimbabwe. The pair once again failed to fire at the top as the skipper departed for just 4 off 9, while Rizwan departed after a 16-ball 14 knock. The openers failing to fire, once again show, Pakistan’s over-reliance on the pair.
In their third match of the Super 12 stage, Pakistan eked out a scrappy win over Netherlands. One would have expected an easy win for Pakistan, but the Dutch bowlers made the Pakistan batters work for it. While the skipper fell for his third consecutive single digit score, departing for just 4 off 5, Rizwan finally got some runs under his belt. Rizwan’s 49 off 39, anchored Pakistan’s chase as they clinched their first win and kept the semifinal hopes alive. In their two upcoming matches of the Super 12 stage, the openers will have to give Pakistan a strong start as the race for the semis heat up.
Babar Azam’s scores so far:
vs India: 0 off 1
vs Zimbabwe: 4 off 9
vs Netherlands: 4 off 5
Mohammad Rizwan’s scores so far:
vs India: 4 off 12
vs Zimbabwe: 14 off 16
vs Netherlands: 49 off 39
David Warner (AUS):
David Warner has always been a force to reckon with at the top of the Australian batting line-up. But the opener has not troubled the opposition bowlers much in the ongoing World Cup. The defending champions opened their campaign with a crushing loss to New Zealand. After the Kiwis posted a big target of 200/3, Australia was bowled out for 111.
With a big target on the board, both openers failed to fire. While captain Aaron Finch departed for a golden duck, Warner departed for just 5 off 6. Though Australia bounced back with a win in the second match, Warner struggled with the bat once again as he fell for just 11 off 10. Following their win over Lanka, Australia clinched a big win over minnows Ireland to give their net runrate a much-needed boost.
Warner, who is one of the best fielders in the world and has been phenomenal on the field in the ongoing World Cup, once again failed to fire. Facing Ireland, Warner dismal run with the bat continued as he departed for just 3 off 7. With the tournament heading towards the business end, Warner will be eager to find his scoring prowess, which will help the hosts get the big starts under their belt.
David Warner’s scores so far:
vs New Zealand: 5 off 6
vs Sri Lanka: 11 off 10
vs Ireland: 3 off 7
Jos Buttler & Alex Hales (ENG):
England entered the tournament as one of the heavyweights, but a concern for them has been their openers’ show with the bat. Out of the three matches played so far, England have won one and lost one, while their big game against Australia was washed out without a ball being bowled. Both skipper Jos Buttler and opener Alex Hales haven’t given England strong starts at the top and this will be a concern as they race for the semis heat up.
England opened their T20 World Cup campaign with a comfortable five-wicket win over Afghanistan, but Buttler and Hales failed to impress with the willow as they departed for low scores. While the skipper fell for just 18 off 18, Hales departed after a 20-ball 19. In their second match, England were shocked by Ireland. In a rain-truncated match, Ireland stunned the favourites with a five-run win via D/L method. While skipper Buttler fell for a duck, Hales too failed to add runs on the board as a fell for just 7. The following match against Australia would have been a litmus test for England’s openers, but the match was washed out without a ball bowled.
Playing in the Group of Death and the race for the semis heating up, it is imperative for the openers to hand England a strong start in their upcoming games.
Jos Buttler’s scores so far:
vs Afghanistan: 18 off 18
vs Ireland: 0 off 2
Alex Hales’ scores so far:
vs Afghanistan: 19 off 20
vs Ireland: 7 off 5
Temba Bavuma (SA)
Following their win over India, South Africa currently sit on top of the points table in Group 2. But one of the kinks in the South Arican line-up is the form of their skipper Temba Bavuma. Opening the innings with Quinton de Kock at the top, Bavuma has had an unimpressive campaign so far in Down Under.
After their first Super 12 match was rain-affected and they shared points with Zimbabwe, South Africa went onto to win their second Super 12 match over Bangladesh. Though the Proteas posted a big total of 205/5, Bavuma failed to fire at the top, as the South Africa skipper departed for just 2 off 6. Bavuma’s run drought continued as he failed to fire during South Africa’s big game against India.
Though SA walked away as winners, Bavuma fell for just 10 off 15. With teams locked in a battle for a semis spot, the Proteas will hope their skipper finds his batting prowess ahead of the business end of the tournament.
Temba Bavuma’s scores so far:
vs Bangladesh: 2 off 6
vs India: 10 off 15
The Super 12 stage of the ongoing World Cup will conclude on Sunday (Nov. 6), with the semifinals set to be held on Nov. 9th and Nov. 10th. The final of the 2022 T20 World Cup will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 13.