1. Rohit Sharma's perfect start to the campaign
The fluent Indian opener missed the first warm-up game due to personal commitments and then scored just one in the next against Bangladesh. He started off quite shakily against Pakistan, but then slowly got into his stride. Even though Rohit was not at his fluent best, he hung on. He rotated the strike with some quick singles and and picked up the occasional boundaries. He was unluckily run out after a 119-ball 91, but by then he had both his form and confidence back. “He needed some runs under his belt,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match presentation. And the rest as they say is history as he just hit a century in the semi-final against Bangladesh on Thursday.
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2. Sarfraz Ahmed introducing spin in the second over
Mohammad Amir was going great guns in the first over and had opener Rohit Sharma at sea. But in the very next over, instead of attacking the Indian batsmen further with pace, Pakistan captain Sarfraz threw the ball to his spinner Imad Wasim. The move released some of the pressure that was created by Amir as both Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit had no problems in tackling the spinner. The duo went on and knit a partnership of 136 runs which gave India a perfect platform for an onslaught later in the innings. Shahid Afridi criticised the move heavily in his column for ICC and said that it showed Sarfraz's lack of acumen.
3. Yuvraj Singh’s scintillating display
At 35, Yuvraj Singh isn’t the youngest around in the Indian team, but that doesn’t come between him and his ability to score quick runs. The elegant left-hander was at his very best in the opening game of the tournament for India. He came out to bat at No.4 and took the innings by the scruff of the neck. Some of his shots were exquisite. In fact it was his whirlwind knock which gave India the perfect launchpad for the last 10 overs. His innings came to an end after a 32-ball 53, but by then he had done the damage he was sent out to do. While he has not got too many opportunities with the bat after that, but it definitely will stand him in good stead if he needs to bat in the final on Sunday.
4. Ravindra Jadeja’s fielding
India have had some issues with their fielding in this tournament, but Ravindra Jadeja has been impressive as always. Although Pakistan started the chase well, they were in a lot of trouble at 91/4. Walked in Shoaib Malik who is quite a vital cog in the Pakistan batting line-up and has an average of around 50 against the Indians. Malik and Mohammad Hafeez added a few runs but just when the pair was starting to look good, Jadeja affected a brilliant run-out. It was the third delivery of the 23rd over, Malik tried to guide it to the left of backward point and set off for a single, however, Jadeja who was stationed there moved in quickly and threw the stumps down in a flash. The Pakistani batter tried to get back but was well short of his crease.
5.Injuries to Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz
Injuries have been a genuine cause of concern for Pakistan. While Wahab Riaz is already out of the tournament, Mohammad Amir missed the semi-final against England due to back spasm. But it all started in the opening game. Both their premier fast-bowlers sustained injuries in the game. While Amir was said to have a calf injury, Riaz suffered an ankle twist. Both bowlers could not complete their quota of overs. While Amir left the field after hurling 8.1 overs, Riaz hobbled off after 8.4.
For those who wish to watch the top moments from the game, the International Cricket Council also tweeted a highlights video for the same. ICC took to Twitter to post a compiled video of the game for those who couldn’t watch the game. The post read: “Miss any of the action from yesterday's #CT17 clash? Relive the key moments from #INDvPAK here:
An all-round performance by the Men in Blue ensured they continued their good record against Pakistan in ICC tournaments as they defeated the arch rivals by 124-runs in a rain-curtailed match at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Sunday. The fortunes changed in the match just like the weather at Birmingham and it was Virat Kohli and his boys who came out shining just like the sun over the Edgbaston at the end of what can be termed as a one-sided contest. Sarfraz Ahmed's calculated decision to bowl first — keeping the chances of rain in mind — backfired as India posted a total in excess of 300 as all four of their top order batsmen scored half-centuries. The already stiff target became even more tough for Pakistan as a third lengthy rain interval meant they had to score 289 runs in 41 overs to win the match. Pakistan were never in the chase as their openers made a sluggish start in the face of some disciplined bowling by the Indian pacers.
India playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah
Pakistan playing XI: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan
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First Published: June 18, 2017, 8:50 AM IST