Thursday, June 17, 2021
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Long live Indian players, we are proud of you

Oh! It’s 6 out of six. India got a big reason to celebrate on Sunday. Entire game was very well played by Indian cricketers. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan also made his cricket commentary debut alongside cricket legends like Kapil Dev and Rahul Dravid. He previously did commentary in Hindi during the World Cup match between India and Pakistan, also shared space with the likes of Arun Lal and Shoaib Akhtar. I thought during the game in excitement, Amitabh Bachchan may repeat his dialogue saying to Pakistan “Rishte me to hum tumhare Baap lagte hai”. The match was thrilling and also exciting. India continues their World Cup domination of arch-rival Pakistan, extending their winning band to six with a lopsided 76-run victory in front of a crowd at the Adelaide Oval that quite easily could have been transplanted from the subcontinent.

The much-anticipated Pool B grudge match, the latest chapter in one of the great rivalries in sport, attracted a passionate crowd of 41,587 to the revamped ground with up to a billion more tuning in on the sub-continent and around the world. It was the two thirds of the crowd dressed in blue representing India who had the most to cheer about, though, as Kohli brushed aside concerns over his recent one-day form with a knock of 107 to drive his side to an imposing tally of 300 for seven.

The first World Cup meeting between the severe rivals was in 1992 – the last time the tournament was co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand and India started their winning sequence in head-to-heads from there. Sachin Tendulkar, who played in the previous five wins but retired in 2013, compared the intensity of the Indo-Pak World Cup clashes with the level of a final. But this game was rarely in Pakistan’s grasp after skipper Dhoni won the toss and batted in ideal conditions. Virat Kohli scored an imperious century as India opened their World Cup defence in convincing fashion with a 76-run victory over Pakistan in a frenzied atmosphere at the Adelaide Oval. Pakistan started their reply steadily before a three-wicket blitz in two overs at the halfway mark of the innings which saw opener Ahmed Shehzad depart for 47 and reduced them to 103 for five.

Indian seamer Mohammed Shami took four for 35 but it was Mohit Sharma who drove the final nail into the coffin when Sohail Khan holed out for seven to end the Pakistan innings at 224 all out. Kohli’s century was the first by an Indian in those six World Cup encounters and took his impressive tally to 22 in one-day internationals, joint fourth on the all-time list with his former skipper Sourav Ganguly. Pakistani Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (76) and Shahid Afridi flirted with a match-changing partnership but once the latter departed for 22 and Wahab Riaz followed in the same over, Pakistan’s hopes of a first win over India in six World Cup attempts was gone. Dropped from a difficult chance by Yasir Shah off Afridi on seven and again by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal on 76, Kohli otherwise played well and gave few chances in his 126 balls at the crease. Sohail Khan took 5-55 in his first one-dayer since 2011, removing both, Kohli and Raina as well as India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as three Indian batsmen were sent back in the last couple of overs.

In 1992, at Sydney, the first of a five-match unbeaten streak for India is best remembered for Javed Miandad trolling Indian wicket-keeper Kiran More. The Pakistani batsman jumped up and down – a less-than-subtle imitation of an overly-chirpy More – at the end of a particularly tense over between the two. Despite the win, India failed to reach the last-four stages, while Imran Khan’s “cornered tigers” went on to clinch the title.

In 1996 at Bangalore, an entire nation joined pacer Venkatesh Prasad’s famous send-off to Aamer Sohail – a dramatic reply to the Pakistan opener, who warned Prasad of an imminent spanking at the end of the previous delivery. That dismissal ruined the visitor’s chase, after Ajay Jadeja’s late assault on Waqar Younis – in an era when blatant disregard for the bowler was not commonplace – took India to a good total. Also in 1999, at Manchester, a raucous sell-out at Old Trafford gathered to watch these two rivals, who were, at the time, engaged in the Kargil War. Venkatesh Prasad (5/27) emerged the hero in this battle, and fortunately, fears of fan violence did not materialise. Apart from a few scuffles, the Super Six match – supervised by a massive police contingent – finished without incident. Then in 2003, at Centurion, Sachin Tendulkar’s lashed six off the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ Shoaib Akhtar set the tone for a sublime 98 from the Mumbaikar, which powered India to a successful chase. That brutal maximum, which was followed by an elegant flick to the square-leg boundary, prompted Captain Wasim Akram to later state that for the first and only time in his career, a bowler – a petrified Akhtar – refused to take further part in the match. In 2011 at Mohali, handing Sachin Tendulkar four lives were just asking for trouble. The stalwart’s 85 brought him into the spotlight once again in a World Cup India-Pakistan clash, and took his team to a par-score of 260. A batting collapse from the visitor in this quarterfinal match then extended India’s victorious run.

Now, it was the 6th match and India gave Pakistan an embarrassing 76-run defeat. Pakistan, who has never beaten us in five previous World Cup meetings, had made an early breakthrough when Rohit Sharma misjudged the bounce of a Sohail Khan delivery and spooned the ball to Misbah for 15. There are celebrations everywhere, from social network sites to media and even common people, everyone is bust over cricket and India’s win. Long live Indian players, we are proud of you and also keep the same momentum to reach finals and then clinch the cup.

Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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