At the end, it was worth the wait for Indian cricket team fans. A one-day match that spilled over to two days, due to rain in Colombo, provided the Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team an opportunity to test their mettle against world No. 2 ODI side Pakistan. And, they ticked all the right boxes. The India vs Pakistan Super 4 clash has always been billed as the ‘Big One’. The special status of the India vs Pakistan match can be gauged from the fact that it was the only Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 match that was given a reserve day. Although controversial, the move helped the fans see a full India vs Pakistan ODI game over two days.
Indian cricket team set Pakistan a massive 357-run target. The Babar Azam-led team could only notch 128 runs.
India had some major takeaways from the match:
Firstly, after the India vs Pakistan match, KL Rahul‘s position as the No. 4 batter can be safely said to be safe. Playing an international game after a long gap, Rahul stepped up with the team under pressure. He scored a brilliant century and was involved in a record stand with Virat Kohli. he also kept the wickets. With this innings Rahul has shut up his detractors.
Secondly, Kuldeep Yadav‘s form. India needs a bowler who can provide them the breakthroughs in the middle overs. The Chinaman bowler proved that he is the answer to the problem by spinning a web around the Pakistan batters. He finished with a five-wicket haul on a pitch where pacers looked to have the upper-hand initially.
Thirdly, the form of the Indian top-order batters. Sachin Tendulkar summed up this point beautifully in a post in X on Monday. “Congratulations to Virat and KL for their 100s. One big positive sign for #TeamIndia is that all our top 6 batters – Rohit, Shubman, Virat, KL, Ishan and Hardik have scored runs at various stages in the 2 matches. Well played! Keep it up,” he wrote. With Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill to hitting classy half-centuries on Sunday, Indian top-order will feel more confident going forward.
Fourthly,and most importantly, the form of Virat Kohli. The master batter slammed his 47th ODI century and absolutely lorded over the Pakistan bowlers. He stayed unbeaten on 122* off 94 balls. If India are to do well in the Asia Cup and then the Cricket World Cup, Kohli’s form will be crucial. He is a big match player and he proved that once again.
India still need to do well in its remaining matches of the Asia Cup. But the signs are positive.
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