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India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Five talking points from India’s hammering of Pakistan

The Indian Express logoThe Indian Express 05-06-2017
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India produced a dominant performance to trounce arch-rivals Pakistan by 126 runs in a rain-curtailed match. India had made a total of 319 for the loss of three wickets off the 48 overs allotted to them. The match was then further curtailed and Pakistan had to chase a total of 289 from 41 overs. India managed to skittle Pakistan out for 164.

Complete coverage: ICC Champions Trophy

Let’s take a look at five talking points we got from the match:

India’s opening pair of Dhawan-Rohit is alive and kicking

This was the first time in 18 months that Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had opened the innings for India. The pair’s consistent performances were a big reason for India’s victory in 2013 but doubts have been raised over the inclusion of Shikhar Dhawan due to his inconsistent form. On Sunday, against Pakistan, Rohit and Dhawan gave India an opening partnership of 136.

Slideshow: India vs Pakistan — Match in pictures

India vs Pakistan: Best pictures from the match

Form is temporary class is permanent for Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli had been imperious in 2016 but hasn’t been quite as successful with the bat in 2017. He underperformed in the Test series against Australia, in which he also sustained an injury. He also had a forgettable season in the Indian Premier League with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. But against Pakistan, he didn’t allow Pakistan to capitalise on the opening they got when Dhawan was dismissed. He then built a blistering 96-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh that took India to a big total in the final overs. Kohli remained unbeaten on 81 off 68 balls.

Ravindra Jadeja is a match-winner with the ball and on the field

Over the past two years, Ravindra Jadeja has grown into one of the most important units in the Indian team. He picks an insane number of wickets and also has a reputation for turning games around in the lower order. He is also one of India’s best fielders. While he didn’t need to take out the sword against Pakistan, Jadeja picked the crucial wickets of Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez and also effected the run-out of Shoaib Malik through a brilliant direct hit.

Watch: Ruthless India seal big win over Pak

Replay Video

Pakistan lack the bite they had when facing India

Years of playing away from home seems to have taken a toll on the side. Pakistan are far from the days when the likes of Inzamam-ul-Haq and Shoaib Akhtar used to often boss India on the pitch. The two teams have only met in ICC tournaments since 2013 but the fact remains that Pakistan haven’t been able to beat India since 2015. On Sunday, Pakistan were completely outclassed by India.

India’s pace department

India are not always known to possess a dangerous pace battery but it seems they may have one this Champions Trophy. Mohammad Shami was left out of this one but Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah managed to starve Pakistan batsmen for runs. Umesh was the highest wicket taker for India with three to his name and gave away just 30 runs in the 7.4 overs he bowled.

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