An inspired Pakistan stunned team India to break their 12-match losing streak against the Men in Blue in world events. The Babar Azam-led side thumped their authority by picking up a magnificent 10 wicket win. The seeds of the win were sowed by the bowlers, especially Shaheen Shah Afridi, who rattled the Indian batters with his sheer pace and swing. A top-order collapse meant that India could not post a challenging score and had to settle for a below par 151-7.
Rohit Sharma has not been in the best form of late. He did score a half-century against Australia in the warm-up game but there is not much to show on either side of the fifty. Against Pakistan, he was dismissed for a first-ball duck. Sharma’s vulnerability to the left arm pacers is well known. Keeping in mind that India’s next game is against New Zealand, that has Trent Boult in the team, a journalist asked Kohli if he would drop Rohit Sharma in the next game. Kohli was stunned by the question and he hit back by saying, “Do you know what he did in the last game we played? Unbelievable (laughs). Sir, if you want controversy, please tell me before so I can answer accordingly,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Indian bowlers too looked off-colour as they failed to pick up a single Pakistan wicket. Kohli rued lack of application for the loss but was also very appreciative of the way Pakistan played on the day.
“We didn’t execute properly. Credit where it’s due and Pakistan outplayed us today. They started brilliantly with the ball, and 3 wickets for 20 runs was not a good start. We needed wickets early but with the bat they gave us absolutely no chances. It played slow in the first half and hitting through the line was not that easy as it was in the second half, after 10 overs. We needed those 15-20 extra runs and for that we needed a good start but Pakistan’s bowling didn’t allow us to get those extra runs. We could make the argument of getting in another slower bowler, but it’s important to stay composed and understand our strengths, because with the dew the slower bowlers couldn’t be effective either. This is just the first game of the tournament, not the last,” said Kohli.