India face Zimbabwe in their final World Cup match at the MCG on Sunday . The match will be played in Melbourne, Australia, and the MCG is open to the public .
To tame Pakistan-conquerors Zimbabwe and qualify for the semis as group leaders, India will need to be patient.MELBOURNE: The MCG's batting nets area is unique in that it is open to the public and visible from the street.It is a deep-set arena accessible from a level lower to the ground.Once the players are in it, they are locked in.Add a few dozen journalists, youtubers, and cricket enthusiasts to the mix, and suddenly practice is elevated to performance art.Every step is scrutinized.Any bad shot is met with howls.There is no place to hide inside the MCG nets. Some had lunch boxes with them in tow, fully prepared for a long vigil.Virat batted out, chants of Happy Birthday dear Virat rang out time and time again, to shouts and cheers as well as some enthusiastic clapping.Kohli acknowledged the fans once or twice, raising his hand or glancing at a particularly vocal group, but there were just too many.Virat did what he rarely does at nets: he would annoy the typical we-want-sixer crowd with a particularly scary blunder every once in a while, much to everyone's delight. India is moving forward without a washout and split points, but messy equations are better avoided.Indias star batter came out all guns blazing against Pakistan, using a special knock to show his intentions for this World Cup.It would be a shame if the tournament's most popular cricketer isn't around for the final at the MCG on November 13.Nonetheless, jumping the gun is a form of jumping. In a normal game, beating Zimbabwe would not be an easy task, but as the World Cup comes to an end, the stakes are the highest, and Zimbabwe has a bit of a reputation for outsetting the apple cart in this tournament.India would like to be ruthless here after having escaped from prison already against Bangladesh.When asked what type of scenario India had in mind for this unlikely banana-skin encounter, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said, Simple.We have to be clinical, as ethical as possible. To be able to exert pressure, you must still go in there, counter the early pace with the bat, and also bowl good balls.It's a must-win draw.Good teams will be punctual and will put the pressure on such days.We can't go into Zimbabwe and assume they will blunder, because they have played some great cricket. That is the only remaining piece of the puzzle for India as they press the reset button here before the bigger challenges in the knockout stages.Zimbabwe has already caused a big upset by defeating Pakistan and coming oh-so-close to defeating Bangladesh before losing to the Netherlands inexplicably to wreck their own chances.After losing to the Dutch, their coach Dave Houghton said, We've been very fragile with our batting this season.We've stayed in thanks to our bowling and fielding. In this tournament, it's such a quick turnaround.The loss to Bangladesh was unfair, because it came so close... you just sit back and think, maybe we were going to lose the game, according to Ervine.Sikandar Raza has been superb, and they will be looking forward to seeing those performances against India.We now have a sense that we can upset any team in this tournament thanks to our victory over Pakistan. How often do you get the opportunity to put Virat Kohli in your pocket?Im pretty certain that our fast bowlers will be raring to go tomorrow.
From enjoying batting in Australia to sharing a common team vision with #TeamIndia captain @ImRo45 🙌 🙌— BCCI (@BCCI) November 5, 2022
Getting candid with @imVkohli as he celebrates his birthday today 👌 👌
Watch the full interview 🎥 🔽 #T20WorldCup https://t.co/jo5h4agO6j pic.twitter.com/x7wf6Yccyp