Team India started their ICC T20 World Cup 2022 with a last-ball finish over arch-rivals Pakistan in front of a capacity crowd at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, October 23.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to field first. It was an impressive bowling effort by Indian bowlers making use of conditions that had seam and swing. Despite Ifkthitar and Shan Masood of 76 runs for the third wicket, they kept taking wickets at regular intervals to restrict them to 159 for 8.
The Indian top order struggled to consist of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Surya Kumar Yadav, and Axar Patel. Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya‘s brilliant 113 runs partnership ensured that the Indian team was still in the game.
On that note, here we look at the top three performers for Team India against Pakistan
#1 Virat Kohli
Special win. Thank you to all our fans for turning up in numbers. 🇮🇳💙 pic.twitter.com/hAcbuYGa1H
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) October 23, 2022
Virat Kohli produced one of his best T20I innings. He came to the crease after the fall of KL Rahul’s wicket. India lost three more quick wickets of Rohit Sharma, Surya, and Axar Patel.
Kohli looked cautious taking singles before launching an assault on Pakistan bowlers. He kept the scoreboard ticking and completed fifty off 40 balls. The situation looked tough for India with 48 runs required from the last 3 overs, Kohli upped the ante with amazing shots against Shaheen Shah Afridi changing the momentum.
With 28 runs required off 8 balls, Kohli produced 2 successive sixes of Haris Rauf to shift momentum in favour of India. He then smacked another lovely six in the final over from Nawaz. It was a sensational knock from Kohli remaining not out on 82 off 53 balls with 6 fours and 4 sixes. His innings helped India snatch victory from jaws of defeat.
For his match knock, Virat Kohli was named the player of the match. It was a breathtaking effort by King Kohli who looked calm and composed after losing quick wickets.
#2 Arshdeep Singh
The left-arm pacer from Punjab made his World Cup debut. He produced a stunning swinging delivery to dismiss Pakistan captain Babar Azam on the first ball. Arshdeep looked in a threatening mood troubling Shan Masood with lovely deliveries.
Arshdeep Singh produced a superb bouncer to dismiss Mohammad Rizwan caught by Bhuvneshwar Kumar at fine leg to rattle the Pakistan batting line. He then got rid of Asif Ali with a sharp bouncer to leave Pakistan in trouble. Despite going for runs in his final over, Arshdeep Singh went for 32 runs in 4 overs.
Singh looked impressive with his line and length making sure that Pakistan’s openers do not get off to a bright start.
#3 Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya produced an all-around effort with both bat and ball. He was taken for runs initially before making a strong comeback with three quick wickets.
Pandya dismissed Shahbad Khan and Haider Ali in the same over to leave Pakistan in trouble. He then got rid of Mohammad Nawaz with another lovely delivery. It was a superb bowling effort by the all-rounder finishing with figures of 3 for 30 in 4 overs.
Chasing 160 runs to win, Hardik Pandya came with India struggling at 31 for 4. He looked cautious initially before putting enough pressure on Mohammad Nawaz hitting him with 2 sixes changing the momentum of the game.
Pandya looked in decent touch keeping the scoreboard ticking with the required run rate climbing. He struggled at the end against Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. Hardik was eventually dismissed in the last over. He scored 40 off 37 balls with 1 four and 2 sixes adding 113 runs for the fifth wicket.
It was a sensational effort by Pandya who kept his composure after India lost 4 quick wickets against a disciplined Pakistan bowling effort.