Virat Kohli was the joint top-scorer for India in the Asia Cup 2022 win against Pakistan on Sunday, but he struggled initially. He got a couple of reprieves before scoring 35 off 34 balls. Just when it looked like Kohli might score a half-century, he was dismissed by Pakistan’s Mohammad Nawaz. The focus was on India’s top three going into the tournament and all three — K L Rahul (0), Rohit Sharma (12 off 18) and Kohli — did not have the best of times in the middle. Kohli’s performance failed to impress former Pakistan cricket team spinner Danish Kaneria.
“Virat Kohli – all eyes were on him. He flopped again. At the starting, he faced difficulty. There were quite a few inside edges. Unfortunately, KL Rahul got bowled after getting an inside edge,” Kaneria, who played 61 Tests and 18 ODIs for Pakistan, said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.
“Kohli got out while trying to go inside-out over the extra-cover against a left-arm spinner. While he does play that shot very well, but somebody told me that when he used to play with Sachin Tendulkar, the latter noticed that Kohli was getting out to that shot and advised him to stop playing that shot. That same thing is is happening with Kohli,” Kaneria added.
“Kohli was lucky as he was almost out on the second delivery itself. He was lucky that Fakhar Zaman couldn’t hold on to the catch off Naseem Shah. He played just one good shot during his innings. Other than that he did not play good shots. He will have to score runs.”
In the match, Hardik Pandya produced a special all-round effort as India held nerves to pull off an exciting five-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their Asia Cup opener here on Sunday. Hardik (3/25 in 4 overs) showed his high value under extreme pressure as his well-directed short balls helped India bowl out Pakistan for 147.
It should have been straight forward chase but India’s experienced top-three faltered, putting extra pressure on the middle order. Hardik (33 not out off 17) and Ravindra Jadeja (35 off 29) then shared a 52-run stand to take India on the cusp of a famous win. The star all-rounder’s three fours off Haris Rauf off the 19th over effectively sealed the game for India.
With the team needing 6 off three balls, Hardik finished the game with a six off left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz.
With PTI inputs
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