Another humongous India vs Pakistan clash at the World Cup stage has ended in one-sided contest. India beat Pakistan by 89 runs due to the DLS method. This is India’s seventh successive win over Pakistan at the World Cup stage and this loss would have really dampened the mode around the Pakistani camp.
Winning the toss on a wicket that looked a bit dry, Sarfaraz Khan elected to bowl and batting first, India scored 336 runs for the loss of 5 wickets with Rohit Sharma being the top scorer with 140 runs off just 113 balls. Chasing a mammoth total, Pakistan were never in the game and after rain curtailed the game to 40 overs and target revised to 302, Pakistan scored 212 runs for the loss of 6 wickets.
Coming to start of the match, Rohit and KL Rahul got India off to a flyer with a 136 run opening partnership but Rahul departed after scoring a well played 57 runs off 77 balls. Then, Virat Kohli and Rohit upped the anti before the Indian vice-captain departed after scoring a signature daddy hundred.
Towards the end, cameos from Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar, India reached 336 runs. Batting second, Pakistan got pegged back with an early wicket and after a good partnership between Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan lost wickets in bulk and eventually lost the game by 89 runs due to the DLS method .
So, in this slideshow, we take a look at the three tactics employed by Kohli that helped India win the match.
#3 Team Selection
On an overcast day in Manchester, many experts were thinking that Mohammed Shami might be included in the team as the third seamer but that didn’t happen, instead Virat went with his trusted wrist spinners and Vijay Shankar as the extra seam option and safe to say, it worked brilliantly.
India seemed to have all the bases covered and even when Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out of the match early on, the Indian bowling department didn’t break a sweat. Also, we didn’t see a single over from Kedar Jadhav which is a rarity these days. All in all, Virat got his team selection bang on.
#2 Astute use of Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar
When Bhuvneshwar Kumar pulled his groin in his third and India’s fifth over, it looked like India would be in trouble as he and Jasprit Bumrah were the only front-line fast bowlers in the playing XI. But to complete his unfinished overcame Vijay Shankar and to the delight of the skipper, he struck with his first ball and trapped Imam-ul-Haq in front.
Also, Kohli then gave Shankar an extended spell with Hardik Pandya operating from the other end and both of them kept things tight before the spin twins weaved their magic. The over that won India the game was the one in which Hardik picked up both Mohamed Hafez and Shoaib Malik of consecutive balls. It was a very smart decision from Kohli’s point of view as he could have easily turned to Yuzvendra Chahal against the two right-handers but his move worked.
Hardik ended up with figures 2 wickets for 44 runs off his 8 overs, while Vijay finished up his 5.2 overs for 22 runs and 2 wickets.
#1 Trusting the spin twins even when they were leaking runs
When India got an early breakthrough, there was a phase in the game where Pakistan were pacing their chase very well. Both Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman were looking really good. They were taking the game to the Indian wrist spinners, especially Yuzvendra Chahal and they were milking Kuldeep Yadav for runs.
The partnership was over a hundred runs and both the batsmen were looking comfortable against spin and most captains at that stage would have thought of going to their strike bowler, in this case, Bumrah but Kohli decided to stick with Kuldeep and first, he ripped through Babar’s defenses with an absolute jaffa and then got the well set Zaman out for 62 runs.
Those back to back wickets of the set batsmen in the space of three overs pegged Pakistan back and this scenario showed how much trust Kohli has on his wrist spinners.