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Saturday, March 22, 2014

T20 World Cup - India maintain clean slate against Pakistan

India won the first match of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan, maintaining its clean record in the World Cup. Thanks to its spinners, India got into the fifth gear early in the match and did not take its foot off the pedal at all. The pace bowlers also did a good job, except the last over of the match when Shami got clobbered. Overall, Dhoni didnt have any complaints against his bowlers, especially when the opposition got to a total of 130 only.

Fielding was aggressive as was the catching. The Pakistan team was at loss against the Indians and the recent Asia Cup win was a thing of the past. Batsmen came and went back quickly, without being able to gauge the pitch nor the bowling. Amit Mishra was under fire coming into the match but quickly recovered to bowl a great spell with his mix of deliveries. Ashwin was miserly but Jadeja (not unusual in the recent days) was slightly more expensive than his wont. Dhoni provided Yuvraj the option to roll his arm over than Raina - proved to be a wrong option. Yuvraj didnt do well in the match - surely signs are that his best days are behind him. Might be a good option to pick Stuart Binny (for the additional bowling option) but Dhoni is known to continue with his team for few more matches.

The batsmen were never under pressure, especially the openers. The target being a smallish one, they had the luxury of settling down before going for the big shots. Rohit hit a four and six to ease the pressure while Dhawan upset Ajmal in his first over by thrashing him for three fours in an over. Dhawan was never settled in his innings but managed to score a 30. Rohit was also not sure about his batting but managed to score when required to keep his strike rate more than 100.

Kohli and Raina got together and managed to achieve the target without any pressure. Look at the way the chart keeps moving down and down during the partnership. Raina has been looking good after his dropping from the national team - this format seems to be bringing the best out of him. Kohli was his usual, chasing down targets at ease. Overall, an easy victory over a dangerous opponent.

Next up is West Indies. Once again, the focus will be on spinners with Ashwin expected to open against Gayle. Dhoni knows them well enough to plot their downfall. Let us hope the run continues longer.
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