A damp squib
The much anticipated World Cup tie between India and Pakistan failed to live up to its billing, as the former coasted home to a comfortable 76-run victory. The excitable crowd that gathered at the Adelaide Oval witnessed an all too familiar scene, with India making it six out of six victories in the World Cup against its arch-rivals. It was a clinical all-round effort by Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men, who first posted a competitive total of 300 riding on Virat Kohli’s 22nd ODI hundred, allied with supporting acts from Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina. The much maligned Indian bowling attack led by Mohammad Shami, however, then went onto dismiss the opposition for 224 in 47 overs. Unable to secure a single win on their sojourn to Australia, Team India walked into this match with much to prove and short of confidence. Led by Virat Kohli, who also had much to prove after a shoddy run of recent form, Team India got back to basics and executed their game plan to perfection. The greatest source of disappointment from this much anticipated tie was Pakistan’s jittery run chase. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq was left under the all too familiar situation of keeping his head, while all those around him continued to lose theirs. Unlike Team India’s batting performance, the Pakistanis were unable to replicate a similar sense of cohesion. As Pakistan looks to pick itself up after a disappointing performance, Team India can look ahead with renewed sense of hope and vigour. Although there remains much scope for improvement, Team India’s bowlers can look back at this performance with a sense of pride. Credit must also be laid at the doorstep of MS Dhoni, who marshalled his men skillfully, extracting strong spells out of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma and R Ashwin on a surface that slowed down as the game progressed. Team India’s fans will now expect more of the same.