A familiar result at the Old Trafford on Sunday as the Indian team once again got better of their Arch Rivals Pakistan by 89 runs.
A little brighter day on England saw the Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed opting to bowl first against India. He went in with two spinners and for India, Vijay Shankar replaced the injured Shikhar Dhawan.
Both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma slowly laid the foundation at the start with some classic shots and added 136 runs for the first wicket. The openers were lucky on a few occasions where Pakistan’s fielding was sloppy. Fakhar Zaman missed out an easy opportunity to run Rohit Sharma out with a throw at the wrong end, and there were a few inside edges that didn’t hit the stumps. Rahul made 57 before giving an easy catch while trying to drive.
Virat Kohli then joined Rohit Sharma and played the perfect anchor role for his deputy and Rohit Sharma was looking as classy as ever. He pulled off a cut, the one similar to Sachin’s in 2003 against the same opponent. There were many beautiful shots as well. At 140, when everyone thought he was ready to make yet another 200, he threw his wicket away while trying to play over the fine leg. He was visibly furious about the shot as he had to walk back. Hardik Pandya joined Kohli for a quick fire 22 and Dhoni failed to score big this time.
While Virat Kohli crossed his fifty and 11000 ODI runs during his knock, he was running out of partners at the other end. To make things worse, he thought he edged the bouncer off Amir and walked back at 77. The replays showed that he didn’t edge the ball.
Vijay Shankar and Kedhar Jadhav played a bit of cameo that took India to 336.
India suffered a blow early in the second innings as Bhuvneshwar Kumar injured himself and was ruled out for the rest of the match but fortunately, that didn’t affect India as Vijay Shankar stood up for the occasion by grabbing a wicket in his first delivery and ended up with an economy better than Jasprit Bumrah.
After Vijay Shankar’s heroics, India had Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya chipping up with two wickets each and Kuldeep was definitely the pick of the bowlers.
For Pakistan, with the run-rate that kept increasing, they had no idea whatsoever. Other than the partnership of Zaman and Azam, and the cameos from the lower middle-order, Pakistan had nothing to show on papers as they went down by 89 runs.