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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 World Cup - India make it 6-0

India defeated Pakistan today, just like they did in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2011 - a winning streak that actually totals TEN if you include the T20 World Cup as well. Incredible! From the looks of it, the Pakistan team does not seem to be able to absorb the pressure that comes with such a marquee clash. At the same time, the Indian team seems to ride on the pressure involved to put a spirited performance. The same team that seemed to behave like amateurs in the Tri-series matches were transformed into tigers.

Except the  overs 46-50 while batting (when they collapsed - contributing to a total that was 20-30 less than what looked possible), the Indian team dominated the entire match! The Indian fan must have been visibly impressed by the incredible win on this day. Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan were the ones to star with the bat - getting their act together against a bowling attack that was inexperienced but had the talent to trouble any team. Riding on the luck that supported them (dropped chances), the batting and running between the wickets climbed several notches higher than what was on display Down Under in last three months.
Picture Courtesy: Cricinfo Site
Virat Kohli was missing in action in the ODIs after a great test series - today, he was back in action. First with Dhawan and then with Raina, Kohli found his bearings and slowed down only near his century. Pity that he fell on completing the milestone. Raina was pure class - the shots he made and the placement of his strokes were on the spot. The opposition bowlers could not pitch the ball up to him at any time - he was just ruthless. The other aspect of Raina was his selflessness - milestones do not matter to Raina at all, only the team's objective matters. Witness his celebration when Kohli got to his century - amazing character. The only downside was the lack of form for MS Dhoni - though he hit one large six, he was a shadow of his old self. Time enough for him to get back to form still.

While the batting clicked, everyone was worried about the bowling composition. Will they come to the party as well? Starting with the ball that dismissed Younis Khan, Shami was like a man possessed. He was supported well by the others though Umesh was expensive at the beginning. Mohit provided good backup to ensure that the pressure was on the batsmen. Fielding was another area where the Indians scored higher than their opponents - the experience of fielding on the larger Australian grounds for the last few months had helped so much! The Pakistan team was always on the lookout for the big shots because of the tight fielding. One more noticeable aspect was Dhoni's willingness to attack - the slip catchers were usually missing in the previous matches - Dhoni is showing signs of aggression already. Ashwin was bowling as he should in a test match - looking for wickets and bowling outside the off (did Manager Arshad Ayub have a word with him?). Jadeja was solid but went for few runs (making up for the wickets). Umesh came back in his subsequent spell and looked much better - maybe it is a good idea to have him following Mohit Sharma in the next match.

All augurs well for the Indian team but they have to make this as a practice in most of the group matches to get an easier opponent in the quarterfinals. 
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