Pakistan’s misery continued at the hands of arch nemesis India as the latter defeated them by 6 wickets at the iconic Eden Gardens in the Eastern Indian City of Kolkata. With this victory India is now unbeaten in 11 matches in World Cups and World T20’s.
After the match was delayed due to rain, play finally began slated for 18 overs a side. Pakistan owing to Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal’s knock made a respectable total of 118 but it wasn’t enough as Virat Kohli’s rich vein of form was too hot to handle by the Pakistanis.
Virat Kohli is really turning out to be India’s saviour at the moment. Without him, India will still be a good side but perhaps the stability Kohli brings to the side is unparalleled. He is India’s top run getter this year and has performed well in almost all the matches the team has played. With averages of 40+ in all formats of the game, he along with AB de Villiers is perhaps the best batsmen of the current era.
Another aspect of Kohli’s importance to the team is his ability to play match winning knocks. At a time when all other Indian batsmen were getting out, Virat played sensible cricket to stay put at the crease and take one’s and two’s to get the runs going. But when the situation warranted, he played some big shots too. The hallmark of a great batsman.
With 5657 runs in tests and 8016 runs in ODI’s he has 36 centuries in total till date. He is India’s trump card and what Moeen Ali remarked the difference between India and Pakistan. Perhaps it wouldn’t be far off to remark he is what stands between India and all other teams. With him on the pitch, India always has someone to rely upon, someone who relishes the chance and thrives on demanding situations, someone who is equally at ease whether the team is setting a target or chasing one.
Team India has no dearth of talent. Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan etc are all world class players who have proved their mettle time and again on the International Arena. But nobody can match the feats of Kohli and that is what the team needs to win the World Cup.
With teams like New Zealand and West Indies in devastating form, it will be need a good team effort from India to outwit them. Chris Gayle hit a 49 ball century and having good idea of Indian pitches makes him a formidable opponent. New Zealand, although have much less exposure to Indian pitches as compared to their counterparts from other countries but they are the team that has best adapted to the conditions and the results are there for all to see.
Team India must brace themselves and go all out against Australia and Bangladesh. With pitches in their favour, spinners like Ashwin and Jadeja will be expected to carry the team. Bumrah, the new pace sensation will need to pull his socks up and start bowling yorkers from his first over itself. If India is to win the World Cup, the entire unit must rise to the occasion and not just depend on Kohli to grind out the results.