T20 World Cup 2022 India Vs Pakistan: Virat Kohli Led India To Win The Opener Against Pakistan
The most important match of the T20 World Cup 2022! The former Indian captain has been crowned the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 82-run knock of 53 balls.
In pursuit of 160, India relied on Hardik Pandya and Kohli to grab a win. They went on to clinch the contest on the very last ball of the match.
Here are some of the major talking points of the T20 World Cup 2022 Ind VS Pak clash:
Pakistan Powerless Against India In 2022 T20 World Cup Opener
It was a bad toss to lose for the Pakistan team as the ball swung both ways up until the end of the powerplay.
Mohammad Rizwan struggled to slash the balls for a four throughout the first two overs as Bhunveshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh provided extra bounce and each delivery kept nipping away or back from the batsman which made it hard for the batters to judge the late swing.
As for Pakistan captain Babar Azam, an inswinger from Singh was all it took for him on the big night. He fell on a first-ball duck and soon after his dismissal it was time for Rizwan to return to the hut as well.
Singh outfoxed Rizwan with a sharp bouncer that got him caught at deep fine leg. Pakistan has scored 50% of their runs through their openers since last year, hence, dismissing both Babar and Rizwan this early meant that the game was wide open for India to take.
Unreliable Middle-Order Clicks In The Second Half
There had been lots of talk surrounding Pakistan’s middle order for a while. Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Haider Ali, Muhammad Nawaz, and Iftikhar Ahmed had been inconsistent with the bat but Pakistan need a couple of them to carry on in absence of their openers.
Pakistan found their heroes in Shan Masood and Iftikhar wherein the left-handed batter played the anchor whereas Iftikhar went big. Iftikhar smoked Axar Patel for 3 sixes to grab 21 runs in that over and pull the Menin Green back into the contest.
Soon in the next over, Mohammad Shami trapped him in front of the middle stump to dismiss him, but the all-round had done his job by then with a quickfire 51 off 34.
Masood’s strength is the rotation of strike and he did that well to perfection for his 52* off 42. Shaheen Shah Afridi also played eight balls to score a 16-run cameo which propelled the team to 159/8.
Through unexpected knocks in the second half of the first inning, Pakistan amassed a whopping 99 runs in the last 10 overs to put up a fighting target for Rohit Sharma and co.
India's Top Order Falters Early
Naseem Shah pulled up one of his best opening spells to trouble the India openers. He got KL Rahul to chop one back into the stumps in the same fashion he did in the first Asia Cup encounter this year.
On social media, Indian fans were seemingly upset with their captain as well as Rahul for not putting up a valiant knock against the arch-rivals once again.
The ball did not swing either way it was swinging in the first inning, but the likes of Shaheen, Haris Raud, and Naseem did not let the India batters settle with their fiery pace.
Kohli took his time to get going and even played at a strike rate of below 100 to calm the proceedings down.
India was reduced to 31/4 and the way Pakistan bowlers were all over them seemed that Babar Azam and co were a couple more wickets away to penetrate through the lower order.
Hardik And Kohli Duo Steadies The Ship
Hardik Pandya is known for striking the ball harder than anyone in the current Team India, but even he resorted to keeping a low profile owing to the situation.
Kohli and Pandya assessed the situation early on and steadied their partnership with help of singles and doubles.
It was until the 12th over that Pandya began the fireworks with huge sixes of Nawaz’s over.
Rauf And Shaheen Lose The Plot
When Pakistan began leaking runs here and there, the pressure got to their premium bowlers. Despite having ample experience in T20 games, Shaheen and Rauf bowled in channels where Kohli was allowed to free his arms and smoke huge sixes.
Even the deliveries that were unplayable, Kohli was able to maneuver them for boundaries.
Seeing the Chase Master at work, striking the ball 360, the bowlers seemingly had no clue where to pitch the ball with the pitch no longer supporting them as well.
With 48 needed in three overs, Shaheen conceded 17 runs and Rauf went on to concede 15 more in the next over.
The Chase Master Outfoxes Pakistan Again
India VS Pakistan showdowns are always brimming with pressure on players on either side and so was the case with Kohli, who admitted to being “under severe pressure” in the post-match interview alongside Pandya.
But despite having a target in sight that he had to chase with nearly 15 runs per over required, the former India skipper assessed the game better than Pakistan to outplay them from a losing position.
Kohli revealed that he picked his bowlers after. He and Pandya wanted to go after Nawaz, but Pakistan saved Nawaz and put Rauf in instead. Hence, they cashed in the right-arm quicks over and smacked two mammoth sixes off the Lahore Qalandars star.
This meant that only 16 runs were remaining to be chased in Nawaz’s over and the Pandya-Kohli duo was confident of getting 16 runs off a spinner.
Although Pandya was caught out on the first ball of the last over, the RCB superstar made up for it with two more sixes to win the contest that seemed unwinnable at one point.
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If you want to know more about T20 World Cup 2022, you should read this article: ICC T20 World Cup 2022: Schedule, Team, Venue, Time, Ranking, Winning Prediction
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