Though Kohli showed signs of returning to form, he rode his luck on occasions. Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar felt that the players need to score big.
While India registered a memorable five-wicket win against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday, there were a few headaches for the side too which they would want to sort out going forward. Going into the humdinger, the focus was on India’s top three and all three — K L Rahul (0), Rohit Sharma (12 off 18) and Virat Kohli (35 off 34) — did not have the best of times in the middle. Though Kohli showed signs of returning to form, he rode his luck on occasions. Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar felt that the players need to score big.
“Rahul played just one ball, so you can’t judge anything from that. Rohit and Kohli had the opportunity to bat for some time, they got runs. All these earlier times when people were talking about Kohli’s form, I kept on saying that he is not having any luck.
“Today, he had a lot of luck, drop catches, a lot of inside edges, which went so close to the stumps, he had the luck. But he did capitalise on it and played some very fine shots,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying to India Today.
“But one had expected that with the kind of start that he had, he should have got around 60-70. He got out immediately after Rohit got out. Both of them got out to forgettable shots. At that stage, those shots were not necessary as the asking rate wasn’t 19 or 20 for them to attempt sixes at that stage,” Gavaskar stated.
“It was required for them to get going, get to 70-80 and then maybe go for the big shots. That should be learning from this game,” he added.
In the match, Hardik Pandya produced a special all-round effort as India held nerves to pull off an exciting five-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their Asia Cup opener here on Sunday. Hardik (3/25 in 4 overs) showed his high value under extreme pressure as his well-directed short balls helped India bowl out Pakistan for 147.
It should have been straight forward chase but India’s experienced top-three faltered, putting extra pressure on the middle order.
Hardik (33 not out off 17) and Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29) then shared a 52-run stand to take India on the cusp of a famous win. The star all-rounder’s three fours off Haris Rauf off the 19th over effectively sealed the game for India.
With the team needing 6 off three balls, Hardik finished the game with a six off left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz.