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CWC 2019 – India v Pakistan: 5 key talking points

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Last Updated on 5 years by Charbel Coorey

India v Pakistan: 5 key talking points. IND vs PAK: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup clash.

Who breathed the bigger sigh of relief? Indian fans or ICC headquarters, (especially its social media team)?

Rain, which the ICC were rightly sweating over before the match, had the final say, but not before the result was well and truly decided. Many India fans were confident about the result before the match began. Their team showed why they had good reason to, dominating an ill-disciplined, loose and lethargic Pakistan side from start-to-finish to record their seventh straight World Cup win against them. A huge margin of 89 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method was indeed reflective of the game.

Amid the yawns, expensive figures and beautiful strokeplay, below are five key talking points from another one-sided India vs Pakistan match.

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1. Ruthless Rohit makes sloppy Pakistan pay

Pakistan won the toss and bowled, just as they did against Australia. Pakistan, apart from Mohammad Amir, bowled poorly up front, just as they did against Australia. Pakistan’s naivety and repeated mistakes is cause for frustration, especially in such a big game that almost decides whether they will have a proper say in the top four race.

Hassan Ali was all over the place once again. Pakistan bowled too short and both sides of the wicket, coupled with awful fielding that had fans turning away in disgust. Manchester United’s Paul Pogba is reportedly seeking a move away from Old Trafford, and on this display, one can joke that it is because he is a Pakistan fan.

Rohit Sharma is too good to miss out. With a strong ally in KL Rahul, a capable opener himself in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit couldn’t believe his luck as he brought the sea of blue to their feet with a collection of delectable cuts and pulls. Pakistan’s poor bowling can be exemplified in the fact that Rohit was very happy to play the dominant role, when he usually likes to give himself a chance to get set. By his 20th ball, he raced to an ominous 25, that quickly turned into 50, then 100 and then very quickly 140. The writing was really on the wall when Virat Kohli came in and effortlessly stroked a 77 to become the quickest ever to 11,000 ODI runs.

It was like a training run.

India v Pakistan: 5 key talking points. IND vs PAK: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup clash. 2019 Cricket World Cup key talking points
Image credit: AP. India v Pakistan: 5 key talking points – Irresistible Rohit.

2. Mohammad Amir then daylight

We can harp on about the gap between India and Pakistan right now. However, what about the gap between Mohammad Amir and his teammates?

Incredibly, Amir wasn’t picked in Pakistan’s original 15-man squad. His class is well known, but it wasn’t translating into wickets, taking just five in 14 matches before the World Cup at a strike rate of 121.2. In this tournament, though, he has been simply outstanding, carrying an ill-disciplined attack on his shoulders and leading the way.

Unfortunately, his bowling counterparts haven’t been very willing to follow. Amir, now level with Mitchell Starc, has 13 wickets in four matches. The next best for Pakistan is Wahab Riaz’s five, with an average of 47.40 and economy rate of 7.48 to go with it.

India v Pakistan: 5 key talking points. IND vs PAK: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup clash. 2019 Cricket World Cup key talking points
Image credit: Getty Images. India v Pakistan: 5 key talking points – Mohammad Amir is carrying Pakistan.

3. India are looking a very strong unit

India were considered one of the favourites for the Title before the World Cup began. They have shown why in each of their three matches so far.

This match was all about India’s excellence. Pakistan’s players were merely spectators, showcasing the gap between the two sides at the moment. Even without Shikhar Dhawan, India’s top three remains an irresistible force, combining for 306 runs at Old Trafford to flatten Pakistan.

While the failure to reach 350 may have disappointed some (helped by a weird non-review from Virat Kohli), India were always in control. Even with Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s hamstring niggle, India were always in control, exemplified in Vijay Shankar’s ability to hit the spot right away and claim the wicket of Imam-ul-Haq.

India is a side that has just about all bases covered. From a strong top three to hard-hitting middle order to capable bowling attack (Mohammed Shami can come in next game), India will be mighty hard to beat. Indeed, teams can believe that if they get the better of at least two of India’s top three on a given day, they can get the better of them.

However, on current form, that is going to take some effort.

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4. Pakistan’s middle order struggles

Another day, another Pakistani middle order collapse.

Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam’s platform gave Pakistan fans some hope, especially considering India lost Bhuvneshwar Kumar to hamstring tightness. However, who in the middle order was to continue the job and get Pakistan in with a chance with 10 overs to go?

The answer was no one.

From the moment Babar Azam was bowled by an absolute beauty by Kuldeep Yadav, Pakistan were in free-fall, losing 4/12 to render the rest of the game a NRR exercise. Fakhar Zaman’s tame top edge to fine leg, Mohammad Hafeez clipping a leg side half-volley straight to deep square leg and Shoaib Malik continuing to struggle in England were the main ingredients in an awful dish for Pakistan.

By the time the players came back after another rain delay, Pakistan needed 130 off 30 balls with four wickets in hand. A lot more seats were visible in the crowd, which is the appropriate ending to a match that did not live up to the hype.

India v Pakistan: 5 key talking points. IND vs PAK: 5 key talking points from their 2019 World Cup clash. 2019 Cricket World Cup key talking points
India v Pakistan: 5 key talking points – Sarfraz much have rather stayed in bed.

5. The state of the India v Pakistan rivalry

Marketing teams get excited. So do broadcasters, advertisers and the like. If this game was to be washed out, the ICC would have not only had to deal with rightly disgruntled fans on social media, but also significant wasted investments from advertisers upwards of AUD$5 million.

However, the build-up and hype to these matches have been more intense than the matches themselves. Since Pakistan’s thrilling one-wicket win over India in the 2014 Asia Cup in Bangladesh, the next six have not kept anyone on the edge of their seat.

India won by 76 runs in the last World Cup. Then by 124 runs in the 2017 Champions Trophy Group Stage. Pakistan fired back with a 180-run drubbing in the Final, which preceded eight and nine wicket wins for India in last year’s Asia Cup, in addition to this 89-run win.

With tensions between the nations not catering for any matches in the ODI Championship League, the health of the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is dependent on tournament classics.

At the moment, we are way off.

Also read: Be sure to check out my “key talking points” after each CWC 2019 game! The latest:

Afghanistan vs South Africa: RANT – Disgraceful Afghanistan team management

Australia vs Sri Lanka: Finch and Starc superb for Australia

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Thanks for reading!

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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