Cricket World Cup 2019: Kohli hails Kuldeep's brilliance after India's big win over Pakistan

Sudhir Gupta 16/06/2019
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Kuldeep picked two big wickets in India's win.

India skipper Virat Kohli lauded the displays of Rohit Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav following his side’s 89-run win over arch-rivals Pakistan in their 2019 ICC World Cup clash at Manchester.

Rohit’s second century of the tournament and Kuldeep’s dismissals of the well-set Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman paved the way for a huge victory for the Men in Blue which took their World Cup record against Pakistan to seven wins out of seven.

“Kuldeep Yadav was brilliant,” Kohli said after India’s win on Sunday.

“Babar and Fakhar were trying to play him out, but I wanted him to have a longer spell. The ball to dismiss Babar was an outstanding delivery.

“I think today was the best he bowled at this World Cup.”

It was Rohit who got things going for India after they lost the toss with the opener smashing a 113-ball 140 to set up a daunting total of 336-5. The India deputy skipper forged a 136-run stand with fellow opener KL Rahul who chipped in with a vital 57.

Crediting the openers’ display, Kohli said: “Rohit’s knock was outstanding again. KL helped Rohit, who showed why he’s such a good ODI player again today. It was a team effort to get to 336.”

The win over the arch-rivals did come at a cost to India with seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar breaking down just three overs into his spell on Sunday. The 29-year-old did not return to bowl for the remainder of the innings and Kohli is expecting him to miss the next couple of matches.

“Slight niggle for Bhuvi, he slipped on one of the footmarks. He’s out for two, maybe three games, but he should come back for us at some stage during this tournament,” said the India skipper.

Kohli’s Pakistan counterpart Sarfraz Ahmed lamented his bowlers’ failure to bowl in the right areas after he won the toss and elected to field first on an overcast day.

“We won a good toss but didn’t bowl in the right areas, and Rohit played very well,” he said.

“Our plan was to pitch the ball up to Rohit, but we didn’t execute it well. It was a good toss to win but we didn’t capitalise on it.

“We also lost the match in those three overs where we lost four wickets. Fakhar and Imam were going really well, but we collapsed after that.”

The loss leaves Pakistan with just three points from five games with their semi-final hopes taking a big beating.

“Definitely, it’s getting tougher and now we have to win all remaining games,” Sarfraz admitted.

Rohit Sharma was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his 140-run knock and the opener acknowledged Rahul’s effort at the other end in setting up a solid base for India.

“Rahul played very well, took some time early on, probably what was required. Can’t play shots straightaway. The idea was to see what is happening. We got a good start and built on from there,” he said.

The right-hander was looking on course for a fourth ODI double ton at one stage but perished while attempting to scoop a Hasan Ali delivery over short fine leg. It was a dismissal that left the India batsman frustrated with himself.

“I was unhappy, particularly the way I played that shot,” Rohit rued.

“He (Hasan Ali) just pushed mid-on back and brought fine leg in, which was a little misjudgment from my side.

“When you’re set you want to get as many runs as possible. Trust me, I wasn’t thinking of a double hundred. The partnership (with Kohli) was becoming solid and we wanted to kill the game.”

It was India’s third win in the four matches in the 2019 World Cup and it propelled them to third spot in the table behind Australia and New Zealand. Kohli and his men now have a five-day rest period before they take on Afghanistan at Southampton on June 22.

Pakistan, meanwhile, are now only above Afghanistan in the 10-team standings and will next take on South Africa at the Oval on June 23.

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Cricket World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav make it 7-0 for India against Pakistan

Ashish Peter 16/06/2019
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Kuldeep starred with the ball. Image - CWC/Twitter.

The highly anticipated clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the 2019 ICC World Cup turned out to be a lopsided contest in the end with the Men in Blue prevailing by 89 runs via D/L method in Manchester.

A second century of the tournament from Rohit Sharma was at the heart of India’s big win at Old Trafford in a rain-effected tie with the right-hander’s 113-ball 140 setting up a daunting total of 336-5. Pakistan could only muster 212-6 in response in their revised quota of 40 overs.

India’s attempt to defend 336 started off on a bad note with seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar pulling his hamstring just three overs into his spell. Bhuvneshwar had to leave the field with Vijay Shankar asked to finish the remainder of the over and the India all-rounder struck of his very first ball by trapping Imam-ul-Haq lbw.

Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam resurrected Pakistan’s hopes with a 104-run stand but Kuldeep Yadav dismissed both of them in successive overs to put India on top. Things turned from bad to worse for the Men in Green shortly after with Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik falling off successive deliveries to Hardik Pandya.

When skipper Sarfraz Ahmed became Shankar’s second victim of the day after playing on, the writing was well and truly on the wall for Pakistan. By the time they came back to bat after a rain interruption, the target had been revised to 302 required off 40 overs and that proved too huge a mountain to scale for Pakistan’s lower order.

Earlier, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed’s decision to field first after winning the toss backfired with India’s openers running away to an excellent start.

Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul survived a probing opening spell from Mohammad Amir before going on establishing a 136-run stand for the first wicket. Both batsmen brought up their respective half-centuries before Rahul (57) drove a Wahab Riaz delivery straight into the hands of Babar Azam.

The wicket did little to stop India’s march with Rohit continuing to fire on all cylinders in the company of Virat Kohli. The opener had survived an early run-out scare and he went on make Pakistan pay with a swashbuckling century brought up in just 85 deliveries.

Rohit upped the tempo after bringing up his 24th ODI ton and was looking good for a double century before perishing to a scoop shot on 140 (113). The excellent Amir helped Pakistan make some inroads in the final 10 overs with the pacer dismissing the dangerous Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni in quick succession.

Kohli held one end up for India with a fine half-century before his 77-run knock was brought to an end by Amir.

KEY MAN

Rohit Sharma

The India deputy skipper was the mastermind of India’s big win with his brisk innings of 140 setting up the platform for a huge total. The opening batsman was batting with a new partner in KL Rahul with Shikhar Dhawan injured and took on the responsibility of being the more attacking batsman.

Cashing in on his good form leading up to the clash, Rohit was watchful against Mohammad Amir at the start before setting loose with a flurry of boundaries at Old Trafford. He formed important stands with Rahul and Kohli while racing away to a 24th ODI ton and did not allow Pakistan’s leg-spinner in Shadab Khan to settle down at all.

Rohit dictated terms for the entire 39 overs he was at the crease and his explosive innings paved the way for India’s domination on the day.

KEY TAKEAWAY

Kuldeep’s brilliance opens the floodgates

Despite Pakistan losing Imam-ul-Haq early in their chase of 337, they had regrouped nicely through a promising stand between Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam. The two batsmen rode out a testing period and were starting to press their foot on the accelerator as they brought up a century stand.

With India already a bowler short due to Bhuvneshwar’s injury, things were starting to look ominous for the Men in Blue with Kohli starting to run out of ideas. That is when Kuldeep provided the inspiration with the wrist-spinner beating Babar all-ends up with some sharp turn and guile.

Kuldeep then got the better of Fakhar in his very next over and all of a sudden Pakistan had lost both their set batsmen in a daunting chase. Those crucial breakthroughs by Kuldeep saw the wheels completely fall off Pakistan’s chase with Hardik Pandya picking up two wickets in as many balls soon after.

KEY STAT

Kohli becomes fastest to 11,000

In the course of his 77-run knock, India skipper Kohli breached another landmark in the form of 11,000 ODI runs. The 222 innings taken by the superstar batsman makes him the fastest to get to the mark and broke a longstanding record held by Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar’s 11,000 runs had come in 276 innings and for Kohli to do it in 54 fewer innings is a testament to his ODI greatness.

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CWC 2019 power rankings: Rohit Sharma on top after starring for India v Pakistan

Chris Bailey 16/06/2019
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The 2019 World Cup is into its third week – and thankfully over the past couple of days there’s been more runs than rain in England.

There are four new entries in our latest power rankings, where we’ve analysed performances up to and including the mega India v Pakistan clash on June 16.

The rankings monitor the top 10 players throughout the league stages in an effort to track the true MVPs of the summer. Check out our first and second editions if you haven’t already.

1. ROHIT SHARMA (India, up two spots)

Forget King Kohli – how about royal Rohit? Sharma is outshining the rest of the Indian batting line-up and his captain won’t mind one bit as India cruise towards the semi-finals. It may ‘only’ have been against a weak Pakistan side, but with one billion pairs of eyes reportedly watching on, Sharma eased to a daddy hundred. That’s 319 runs from three 2019 World Cup innings.

2. SHAKIB AL HASAN (Bangladesh, down one spot)

Rain thwarted Shakib from adding to his already ample statistics since the last version of these power rankings, but he only slips one spot. It should not be forgotten just how impressive the 32-year-old has been through three completed games, easily the pick of the all-rounders thus far. Bangladesh will need him at his best against West Indies on Monday if they are to have any hope of qualifying.

3. JOE ROOT (England, new entry)

Another ‘all-rounder’ jumps straight in at three. England have jettisoned Moeen Ali and at least part of that decision is down to Root’s off-spin capabilities, having broken the back of the West Indies’ innings with the key wickets of Shimron Hetmyer and skipper Jason Holder. He then proceeded to caress it to all parts for an unbeaten 100, his second century of the tournament, opening in place of the injured Jason Roy. Some player.

4. JOFRA ARCHER (England, up two spots)

Here’s what you could have had, West Indies. The Barbados-born pace ace was a tad expensive in his opening spell against Chris Gayle, but returned to find the edge of an impressive Nicholas Pooran. He then shooed the tail out of the Ageas Bowl to compile figures of 3-30, uncannily adding to his previous 3-29 and 3-27. Aside from one blip against Pakistan, he’s been everything England could have wished for so far.

5. PAT CUMMINS (Australia, up three spots)

Snap. England have Archer, but Australia have a fit Pat Cummins. The lanky fast bowler has arguably been the most consistent bowler of the tournament at the halfway point of the league stage, only yielding 5.5 runs an over to India in his ‘worst’ performance over five matches. The 26-year-old’s 2-38 helped curtail Sri Lanka, whom at one point were on target for Australia’s 337.

6. MOHAMMAD AMIR (Pakistan, new entry)

Pakistan have been woeful, yet Amir has been wonderful. In some quarters the seamer was considered lucky to have even made the World Cup squad with form and fitness both eluding him, but wickets have not been in short supply thus far. Though his efforts have only led to one victory – over England no less – it is simply unfair to penalise him on the basis of defeats. He just keeps on producing. At Old Trafford, the 26-year-old followed up his first-ever five-wicket haul versus Australia with 3-47 against India. His economy rate was 4.7 – for perspective, Hasan Ali went for 9.3 a pop.

7. AARON FINCH (Australia, new entry)

Finch thrashes his way onto these rankings thanks to his merciless 153 against Sri Lanka, toppling Ricky Ponting (140) for the highest score by an Australian captain at a World Cup. Nor has he been a one-hit wonder – with most of the attention on his opening partner, the redeemed David Warner, Finch had quietly compiled two half-centuries before the explosion that saw him leap up to the top of the tournament’s run rankings.

8. MITCHELL STARC (Australia, new entry)

Starc has also been unlucky to miss out on these rankings – not any longer given his status as the World Cup’s top wicket-taker. Since being punished by India, the speedster has bounced back suitably and was the main plotter of Sri Lanka’s downfall on Saturday. Just as things looked like they were getting away from the Aussies, Starc uprooted the dangerous Kusal Perera’s middle stump on the way to 4-55. Along with Amir, he has snared a tournament-high 13 wickets.

9. LOCKIE FERGUSON (New Zealand, down five spots)

Poor old Lockie plummets simply because he was not granted the opportunity to test his mettle against India thanks to the rain. Ferguson is both rapid and a results man – the two do not necessarily come hand-in-hand – but whereas some of the other bowlers have ticked off good performances against better quality opposition, the Kiwi has only come up against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan thus far. If the real South Africa turn up on Wednesday, the game will be a decent yardstick.

10. JASON ROY (England, down eight spots)

Roy clings on to his place in the top 10 – he did slam 153 past Bangladesh after all- but sadly, his hamstring is sure to let him down in the coming week. The explosive opener has been ruled out of England’s next two games against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka after tweaking his leg in the victory versus the West Indies. Happily for the hosts, he is hoping to be back for an extremely tasty clash with Australia at Lord’s on June 25.

1606 power rankings (1)

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