Virat Kohli’s knock of 107 helped India set a competitive target of 300 and then restricted the Pakistani batting line-up to a mere 224, registering a straight sixth World Cup victory against their neighbouring rivals.
Virat Kohli’s knock of 107 helped India set a competitive target of 300 and the Indian bowlers then restricted the Pakistani batting line-up to a mere 224, registering a straight sixth World Cup victory against their neighbouring rivals.
“This was a terrific win for India, because going into the tournament they looked like they were really struggling. All the players, who seemed out of form and had questions of doubt hanging over them, did well in this opening match,” said cricket commentator Ayaz Memon on Heroes and Zeroes, a Cricket-o-Mania World Cup Special series.
“It was a very confused Pakistani side, They pushed Younis Khan to open their batting, which is where they lost the plot. India benefitted from the confusion in the Pakistan ranks,” Chandresh Narayanan, cricket expert and journalist, said.
Virat Kohli became the first Indian batsman to score a World Cup hundred against Pakistan, breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 98 off 75 balls at the Centurion on March 1, 2003. He was aided by the resilient start provided by Shikhar Dhawan (73) and the support of Suresh Raina (74) in the later stages of the match.
“This was a psychologically big match. There’s always too much pressure during an India-Pakistan match. The confidence comes from the discipline in the bowling today. Our fielding as well as running between the wickets was much better. if we continue to build on this from, India can definitely make it to the semi-finals,” Memon added.
“If you are superstitious, the last time in the first match of the World Cup, Kohli scored a hundred and India went on to win the tournament. This time he’s done the same in the opening match,” Narayanan said.
Memon picked Virat Kohli as his “Hero of the Day” while Narayanan went with Shikhar Dhawan for his opening knock. Younis Khan took home the title of “Zero of the Day” from both Memon and Narayanan.