Asia Cup 2022: Loved approach of Rohit Sharma-KL Rahul, Virat Kohli looked very good, says Gautam Gambhir
In the ongoing Asia Cup 2022, Pakistan defeated the Men in Blue by five wickets in the second match of the greatest rivalry between India and Pakistan.
Mohammad Rizwan’s 71 runs off 51 balls, along with some strong individual efforts from both teams, helped Pakistan win the match. Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir expressed his joy at Virat Kohli recovering his form and how it is a sign of good things to come on the Star Sports programme “Follow the Blues”
“Very good, in fact Virat Kohli looked very very good. I loved the approach of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul followed by Suryakumar Yadav, Hooda; all those guys played well but Virat Kohli was good, so you got to give it to him, coming back after the way he batted in the first and second game just showed that probably he got that confidence back especially today; looked really good and I hope he continues this form,” he said.
With stellar efforts from Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh, the Indian bowling lineup did its best to stave off Pakistan.
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan spoke about India’s bowling performance and how he was impressed with the youngsters in the game:
“As far as the bowling is concerned, obviously this bowling unit needs to get better in many departments but I thought in the first half they bowled really well and Bishnoi, specially Bishnoi playing his first game that too against Pakistan in this Asia Cup, there was a lot of pressure. But the way he handled the power play and got the prize wicket of Babar Azam, it was fantastic to see. It is not easy, the pressure on the Indian bowlers during the game against Pakistan is a lot and Bishnoi has handled the pressure very well,” Pathan said.
Pathan also offered his thoughts on Rohit Sharma’s leadership during the game. He was impressed with how he used the spinner when it was appropriate and rotated the bowlers.
“A captain can be tested on two things, especially how he handles the bowler. Especially when the bowlers are new and when you are defending too. These two times you get to realise and I have seen time and again Rohit Sharma is a fantastic leader.”
“He manages the bowlers really well, he knows when to play which bowler. He made Bishnoi bowl an over during the power play, he had taken a wicket but he still kept him waiting, did not let him bowl another over and got him again after Chahal’s over as he knows Bishnoi is a different kind of bowler, not a typical leg spin bowler, does not bowl side arm so it was difficult for Pakistan to read his bowling style that is why he had given just 8 runs off his first two overs.”
“Rohit Sharma manages the team very well and I hope that when the whole team is back. But having Bumrah, Harshal Patel we will get to see a better performance from team India. That we want to see especially if you see it from the lens of the World Cup,” he concluded.
Coming to the match, put to bat first by Pakistan, India put on 181/7 in their 20 overs. Virat Kohli blasted a reliable 60 from 44 balls to record his second successive half-century of the competition. Similarly, captain Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul scored 28 runs in rapid succession. And put together a scorching opening stand of 54 runs.
Spinner Shadab Khan had Pakistan’s finest bowling performance, recording a 2/31. Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah, all pacers, each claimed a wicket. Mohammad Nawaz scored a wicket as well.
Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman cheaply lost while chasing 182 points. But to keep their team in the game, Mohammed Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz put on a 73-run stand. Team India’s prospects of winning the match improved. Following the dismissals of Nawaz for 42 off 20 balls and Rizwan for 71 off 51 balls.
However, crucial contributions from Khusdil Shah (14*) and Asif Ali (16) helped their team cross the finish line. With one ball remaining and win by a score of five wickets.
The pick of bowlers bowlers for India were Arshdeep Singh (1/27) and Ravi Bishnoi (1/26). Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal also took a wicket each.
Nawaz named “Man of the Match” for his all-round performance of 42 runs and 1/25.