The Pakistan vs. India match is very curious.Every person had eagerly awaited the contest. The weather was hazardous, with the threat of rain, and overcast the sky. Both teams were ready to play, and finally, the match started. The toss was done; India won and decided to bat first against arch-rivals Pakistan. After that, Babar Azam said if Pakistan won the toss, he would bat first.
Ishan Kishan and Virat Kohli bat first for India No. 3 and 4.
Shami and Prasidh made way for Shardul Thakur in India’s XI; Pakistan’s XI remained unchanged.
India made a strategic choice by opting for a seam bowler capable of batting at the No. 8 position. Consequently, Shardul Thakur secured his place in the XI, edging out Prasidh Krishna and Mohammed Shami. As KL Rahul recovered from a minor injury, Ishan Kishan was given more opportunities and was designated to bat at No. 3, with Virat Kohli moving down to the No. 4 slot. Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer returned to the ODI squad after successful recoveries from their back surgeries.
In contrast, following a resounding victory over Nepal in the tournament opener, Pakistan opted to stick with an unchanged XI, a decision announced a day ahead of the match.
Pakistan vs. India Highlights:
The inaugural One-Day International (ODI) encounter between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, following a four-year hiatus since the last World Cup, concluded in a frustrating no-result. However, not before both teams tantalized spectators with an enthralling contest condensed into the singular innings that could take place. In the wake of this rain-induced draw, Pakistan’s advancement to the Super Fours stage was sealed.
Pakistan’s pace battery, as expected, lived up to their formidable reputation, dismantling India’s top-order batsmen under favorable conditions. Nonetheless, the batting duo of Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya emerged as the saviors for India, rescuing them from a precarious 66 for 4, displaying exceptional prowess to notch up impressive scores in the 80s. Just as it appeared that India might surge past the 300-run mark during their resilient 138-run partnership for the fifth wicket, the relentless fast bowlers staged a remarkable comeback, ultimately restricting India to a total of 266.
Why match was Stopped? How do you decide who won this match?
Rain ruined India’s chase after Afridi, Naseem, and Rauf shared ten wickets before they dismissed the opposition for 266.
The match’s first innings had already been marred by two rain interruptions, resulting in a loss of 53 valuable minutes. With such an unpredictable weather pattern, adjusting DLS (Duckworth-Lewis-Stern) targets seemed to favor the team defending a total during brief stoppages, gradually shifting the advantage to the chasing side as the match inched closer to the 20-over mark.
Amid an anxious wait for the rain to relent, it turned out that both sides were in for a pleasant surprise, as the persistent showers had lingered long enough to force the match into a commendable draw.
Nonetheless, the game provided ample cricketing action and moments worth discussing and admiring. Intriguingly, both teams had preferred to bat first, but India found themselves in the line of fire. With the pitch having spent time under covers, it displayed a dual-paced nature and offered significant movement for the seam bowlers.
A solitary rain interruption proved to be the turning point for Pakistan as they adjusted their strategy, shifting their focus from seeking swing in the air to exploiting the pitch’s conditions. Following this crucial break during the fifth over, Shaheen Shah Afridi transformed into an enigmatic force. His deliveries consistently hit the perfect length at remarkable speeds, and the ball displayed sharp movement both ways. Rohit Sharma, who had made a promising start, found himself at the receiving end of Afridi’s brilliance as two deliveries deviated away, eluding his bat. At the same time, the third sharply seamed back in to dismantle his stumps, grazing the tip-off.
Virat Kohli, on the other hand, introduced himself with a breathtaking cover drive played on the up. However, the pitch’s sluggishness soon played its part as he attempted to guide Afridi down to third man, resulting in his downfall. The return of Shreyas Iyer sparked hope for India as he embarked on an impressive innings. Still, an unfortunate pull shot off Haris Rauf saw him sending the ball directly into the hands of square midwicket, where Fakhar Zaman executed a brilliant catch.
Amidst the chaos that ensued, it became evident that India intended to launch a counterattack at every available opportunity. Only Shubman Gill refrained from unleashing aggressive shots. However, after a somewhat tentative innings, he eventually fell victim to a full delivery that sharply seamed away at the pace of Rauf – a formidable challenge for any batsman to handle.
During this period of the game, Kishan had already notched up 15 runs off 13 balls, featuring a stylish upper-cut six off Rauf. Pandya also wasted no time finding the boundary with a boundary on the first ball he faced. While it wasn’t reckless batting, it was clear that India was determined not to retreat into a defensive shell, even when they were four wickets down and their lower order was exposed.
As the first three bowlers completed their spells, a chink in Pakistan’s armor began to surface. Their squad predominantly consisted of spinners, both all-rounders and part-time bowlers alike. In contrast, most teams opt for three frontline fast bowlers and one allrounder capable of offering seam bowling options. This deficiency in pace options became apparent during the middle overs, particularly in conditions that demanded a greater reliance on pace.
Babar Azam, perhaps hesitating to persist with a fast bowler for an extended period in search of wickets, faced the dilemma of leaving himself with a spinner to bowl during the death overs. This decision was considered a conservative approach, as the Indian batsmen capitalized on the spin, notably exploiting Shadab Khan’s frequent inability to find the right length.
Approaching the 40th over mark, both batsmen decided to exert pressure on the bowlers, capitalizing on the presence of an additional fielder within the inner circle. Eventually, Pakistan resorted to calling upon Rauf once more. Kishan, who was closing in on a century but appeared grappling with a cramp, may have started to play more aggressive shots, perhaps fearing that slower running might stall the innings. Unfortunately, one such shot flew off the toe of his bat, ending his impressive knock at 82 runs off 81 deliveries. Nevertheless, Kishan had showcased his potential as a viable middle-order candidate, even in the presence of a fit KL Rahul.
Pandya demonstrated his batting prowess, reminding him of when he was considered a specific pick for the middle order, even if his bowling capabilities were restricted. Without taking undue risks, he scored his initial 30 runs at a steady run-a-ball rate before taking a backseat to Kishan’s dominant performance. As the innings drew to a close, Pandya shifted gears, accumulating 31 runs off the final 20 deliveries he faced. Regrettably, he fell short of reaching a century by a mere 13 runs, falling victim to an Afridi slower ball that outfoxed him.
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