India’s opening match comeback at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was led by Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli after they had fallen behind early (MCG). Pandya and Kohli have put on more than 50 runs together, putting the pressure on the Pakistani spinners who were instrumental in the early success of the Men in Green.
PAK VS IND | Kohli and Pandya crucial for India’s scoring!
King of the Fast Lane In the second over, Naseem took out India’s opener KL Rahul for four, and in the fourth over, Haris Rauf got rid of India’s top batsman, Rohit Sharma (4). Rauf didn’t stop there, either; in the sixth over, he also got rid of Suryakumar Yadav (15).
While both Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan dropped crucial catches in the seventh over, Axar Patel (2) was eventually run out. After that, however, Pandya and Kohli kept the runs coming. After electing to field first, India’s captain, Sharma, sent his team to bat second. The Blue Men have set a goal of 160, and they need to make up 20 points. Both Iftikhar Ahmed (51) and Shan Masood (52) had before contributed to Pakistan’s 159 runs against India.
By preventing the Men in Green from scoring and then removing Pakistan’s threatening opening pair in fewer than five overs, India gained command of the game early on. Arshdeep Singh’s first delivery of the second over was a full and straight one that trapped Babar (0) lbw.
The wicket of Rizwan was taken by Singh (who had a poor performance against Pakistan in the Asia Cup) in the fourth over (4). After losing the tandem on which they had relied, the Men in Green were able to regain their footing thanks to Masood and Ahmed.
Until Ahmed was taken out of the game, the duo had scored 76 runs together. At a strike rate of 200, Shaheen Shah Afridi contributed 16 runs to Pakistan’s total and played a vital innings, especially in the final overs when his rapid boundaries put pressure on India.
Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya were the standouts for India, taking three wickets apiece, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami also contributed with one wicket apiece.
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Shan Masood, Shadab Khan, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh.