The world cup contest on Sunday was as big as they come. Indo-Pak cricket matches are considered by some to be more entertaining than the finals itself. That is because, whenever they meet, India and Pakistan play for more than a trophy, they fight for pride and respect.
The 7th match-up between these two Asian cricketing powerhouses, was once again a one sided victory for India. However, the match was far from a boring one. There were some key talking points which are interesting to go over.
Pakistan winning the toss and deciding to bowl
The pitch seemed better to bat first on. Pakistan’s strong death bowling by Amir could have been effective in the second innings. Pakistan ignored some of the key aspects of the match and chose to field first. The decision was highly influenced by the weather and likelihood of rain later in the day. Keeping the use of D/L method in mind, Pakistan took a bold choice of giving a potent Indian batting side the opportunity to play first. None of Amir’s brilliance could restrict India from putting a massive total on the board.
Rohit sharma plays first unorthodox shot of his innings and loses his wicket
Rohit Sharma played so confidently that resembled a no pressure batting performance in a test match and a t20 style batting against a very weak bowling side put together. He took no risk in stroke play and still maintained a good strike rate. His only fumble was in running between the wickets, where he was lucky enough to survive. He reached 140 runs and was on the way to reach yet another double century. However, a lapse in decision making was all it took to give his wicket away. On a regular ball, he shifted outwards and tried a Misbah-esque back flick in an effort to score a boundary over the fielder who had come inwards. The only problem, he did not time well enough. His first unorthodox move in a traditional batting performance cost him his wicket.
Virat Kohli shows sportsman-spirit at the wrong time
Virat Kohli, although known for his aggression, is also a lover of the sport. He showed his game spirit and respect for the opponent in the match against Australia, where he appealed to the spectators to stop chanting cheater and applaud the Australian side. During the match on Sunday however, he went one step ahead and declared himself caught behind as he felt his loose bat move during the swing. The replays showed no contact between the ball and the bat, and suggested that Kohli’s judgement, although appreciable, was wrong.
Dhoni instructs Kohli to call off correct DRS appeal
The partnership between Babar and Fakhar of Pakistan was growing well, just when a spinning delivery hit Babar straight on his pads before coming in contact with the bat. The delivery was in line but the umpire declared the batsman not out. Kohli and Chahal were confident and were all but about to call for the review, when Dhoni came in. He advised against taking the review which would have indeed sent Babar back. Known for his good decision making, the team went with Dhoni’s experience in the matter.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar blow for India
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are great opening seam partners for India. Bhuvneshwar started his spell with good line and length. But in just his 3rd over, his run up caused a strain in his thigh and he was sent off to see the physio. He was later ruled off with a hamstring injury and this will be a major blow for India. The cause is probably the wet outfield which didn’t provide enough grip for his run-up. India will bring on Shami for Bhuvneshwar, and Indian fans would expect a top notch performance from him too.
The two teams might face off again in some other tournament soon. The rivalry between these sides produce electrifying matches. India will look to keep their confidence high and progress through the tournament. Pakistan will look to learn from their errors.
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