The Indian team entered the ICC Champions Trophy under a cloud of controversy after reports emerged of a rift between coach Anil Kumble and the team led by captain Virat Kohli. Kohli denounced such rumors and said all was well within the Indian camp and their only focus was doing well at the Champions Trophy.
They got off to an excellent start beating arch-rivals Pakistan convincingly and proved that their batting, bowling and fielding were firing together. India batted first at Edgbaston and there were a number of interruptions throughout the match due to the weather. India did not let the rain distract them as they put together some excellent partnerships to give their middle-order a great platform to launch an attack towards the end.
R Sharma and S Dhawan put together an opening stand of 136 runs and then captain Kohli played a beautiful and well paced innings scoring an unbeaten 81 of just 68 balls. However it was Y Singh’s innings that really gave the innings momentum and the dashing left hander hammered the Pakistan bowlers scoring 54 of just 32 balls. His innings included 8 fours and 1 six. H Pandya finished the innings in style hitting 3 sixes of the final over to give India a total of 319 in just 48 overs.
Indian Pacers Too Strong
The Pakistanis were always on the back foot as India played three pacers and H Pandya as the seaming all-rounder. A Ali who scored a half century and was in good touch but none of the other batsmen looked threatening and in command. U Yadav picked up three wickets and was well supported by H Pandya and R Jadeja who picked up two wickets each. In the end, India won by 124 runs via the D/L method.
Kohli was full of praise for his team’s performance and made special mention of Y Singh’s innings. In a statement, Kohli said “And the way he batted, the way only he can strike the ball, hitting low full tosses for 4s and 6s, and even digging out yorkers for fours, was outstanding. I think that really deflated the opposition and that gave me a bit of time to settle in from the other end. When he got out, I took over. But I think his innings was a difference in the game.”
India’s next match is against Sri Lanka on June 8 and will take place at the Oval.