Team India’s top order against left-arm seamers and the old script followed. The Men in Blue were facing Pakistan for the first time in four years in an ODI but the horrors of the 2021 T20 World Cup were on show as Shaheen Afridi ran riot in the powerplay against the two biggies, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Rohit did negotiate Shaheen for a couple of overs but following the rain break, an inswinger resulted in the Indian skipper’s undoing in the fifth over of the innings as he got his stumps castled.
A couple of overs later, Shaheen got Virat Kohli to chop onto his stumps as the Indian batters had no way out of the Pakistan left-arm quick’s accuracy. India were reduced to 27/2 after they chose to bat first in the opening game of their Asia Cup 2023 campaign in Kandy on Saturday, September 2.
If that wasn’t enough, Shreyas Iyer, who was looking good having hit a couple of boundaries in the comeback game, got out to his short-ball weakness, excellently exploited by Haris Rauf, who was introduced in the latter half of the powerplay. India were 48/3 in the powerplay itself and the fans were extremely disappointed seeing the same old story unfold. Here are some reactions:
Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill did stop the wickets procession for a few overs but Rauf came back strongly to get rid of the latter as India lost their fourth wicket. Gill’s struggle came to and end as he scored 32-ball 10. Team India will now need both Kishan and the remaining batters Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Co. to give some respectability to the total as currently the Pakistan pace attack is all over the Men in Blue.
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