Commentary: India-Pakistan match

Although perceived as a must-win by fans of both countries, a defeat in today's game will endanger neither India nor Pakistan's chances of progress.

February 15, 2015 08:26 am | Updated November 29, 2021 01:12 pm IST

Pakistan batsman Misbah ul Haq ducks a bouncer delivered by India's Mohammad Shami during their Cricket World Cup match in Adelaide, February 15, 2015.    REUTERS/David Gray  (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET)

Pakistan batsman Misbah ul Haq ducks a bouncer delivered by India's Mohammad Shami during their Cricket World Cup match in Adelaide, February 15, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET)

India won against long-time rival Pakistan by 76 runs, in their opening match in the cricket World Cup at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday. >Read the match report here

Pakistan scored 224 chasing India's 300, as Sohail Khan fell to a Mohit Sharma ball — a catch by Umesh Yadav.

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was caught at 76 by Ajinkya Rahane — another wicket for Mohammed Shami. Yasir Shah was caught by Umesh Yadav, giving Mohit Sharma his first wicket.

Shahid Afridi was caught by Virat Kohli off a ball from Mohammed Shami, making it the bowler's fourth wicket. Wahab Riaz fell almost immediately to another Shami ball, caught behind by Indian skipper MS Dhoni.

Umar Akmal was given out after a review by Dhoni. This makes Pakistan's second duck after Sohaib Maqsood.

Ahmed Shehzad was caught by Ravindra Jadeja off a ball from seamer Yadav, as he reached 47 runs off 73 balls. Two wickets fell almost back-to-back as Maqsood was out for a duck to a catch by Suresh Raina.

Haris Sohail was caught at the slip by Raina, as the team reached 82 runs off 19 overs. Opener Younis Khan was caught by skipper M.S. Dhoni off a ball by Mohammed Shami, at 6 runs.

Earlier, Virat Kohli hit a strokeful century to power India to 300 for seven against Pakistan. Kohli is the first Indian batsman to hit a ton against Pakistan in a World Cup match.

Electing to bat, India rode on a 129-run second-wicket partnership between Kohli (107) and Dhawan (73) before pacer Sohail Khan (5-55) checked the surge.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss on Sunday and elected to bat first in the World Cup Pool B opener against archrival Pakistan.

Defending champion India has won all five times the two teams have met in the World Cup dating back to 1992, and won the toss on four of those previous occasions.

>Read cricketer Murali Kartik's take on the big clash.

Key battles:

1. Rohit Sharma vs Mohammad Irfan: Rohit Sharma, double-double-centurion and the slayer of seam bowlers in India, will come up against an opponent unlike any he has faced before. Mohammad Irfan, evidently the tallest active cricketer, is fast and generates bothersome bounce. Irfan ran through Bangladesh in the warm-ups, and although that is no great feat, it is a warning sign. Two years ago in an ODI in Delhi, Irfan troubled India no end,removing both openers quickly. With scores of 150 and 138 in two of his last three innings, Rohit is India's hope of getting off to a good start.

2. Virat Kohli vs Shahid Afridi: In contrast to Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli is going through a relatively lean patch, with scores of 5, 18, 8, 3 (n.o.), 4 and 9 from his last six innings. For India's success, it is imperative that Kohli scores big. In Shahid Afridi, he will face Pakistan's most consistent weapon through difficult phases of play. For Kohli to accelerate through the middle overs, he will have to overcome Afridi. Taking him for runs will weaken Pakistan's resolve considerably.

3. India vs. the 'death' overs: India's profligate bowling at the 'death' is really worrying when you consider that in Pakistan's lower middle order are Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi. They are not the most consistent of batsmen, but if those ahead lay an early foundation, Akmal and Afridi could cut loose.Also, should Stuart Binny not feature, India's tail will look rather long. India has no James Faulkner or Corey Anderson, and should early wickets fall, the likes of Afridi and Irfan could put the brakes on the scoring pretty easily.

India-Pakistan World Cup history

1992, Sydney: The first of a five-match unbeaten streak for India is best remembered for Javed Miandad trolling Indian wicket-keeper Kiran More. The Pakistani batsman jumped up and down - a less-than-subtle imitation of an overly-chirpy More - at the end of a particularly tense over between the two. Despite the win, India failed to reach the last-four stage, while Imran Khan's "cornered tigers" went on to clinch the title.

The score: India 216 for seven in 49 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 54 n.o., Ajay Jadeja 46, Kapil Dev 35, M. Azharuddin 32, Mushtaq Ahmed three for 59) bt Pakistan 173 in 48.1 overs (Aamer Sohail 62, Javed Miandad 40) by 43 runs.

Toss: India. Man-of-the-match: Sachin Tendulkar

1996, Bangalore: An entire nation joined pacer Venkatesh Prasad's famous send-off to Aamer Sohail - a dramatic reply to the Pakistan opener, who warned Prasad of an imminent spanking at the end of the previous delivery. That dismissal ruined the visitor's chase, after Ajay Jadeja's late assault on Waqar Younis - in an era when blatant disregard for the bowler was not commonplace - took India to a good total.

The score: India 287 for eight in 50 overs (Navjot Singh Sidhu 93, Ajay Jadeja 45, Sachin Tendulkar 31, M. Azharuddin 27) bt Pakistan 248 for nine in 49 overs (Aamer Sohail 55, Saeed Anwar 48, Salim Malik 38, Javed Miandad 38, Rashid Latif 26, Venkatesh Prasad three for 45, Anil Kumble three for 48) by 39 runs.

Toss: India. Man-of-the-match: Navjot Singh Sidhu

1999, Manchester: A raucous sell-out at Old Trafford gathered to watch these two rivals, who were, at the time, engaged in the Kargil War. Venkatesh Prasad (5/27) emerged the hero in this battle, and fortunately, fears of fan violence did not materialise. Apart from a few scuffles, the Super Six match - supervised by a massive police contingent - finished without incident.

The score: India 227 for six in 50 overs (Rahul Dravid 61, M. Azharuddin 59, Sachin Tendulkar 45) bt Pakistan 180 in 45.3 overs (Inzamam Ul-Haq 41, Saeed Anwar 36, Moin Khan 34, Venkatesh Prasad five for 27, Javagal Srinath three for 37) by 47 runs.

Toss: India. Man-of-the-match: Venkatesh Prasad.

2003, Centurion: Sachin Tendulkar's slashed six off the express Shoaib Akhtar set the tone for a sublime 98 from the Mumbaikar, which powered India to a successful chase. That brutal maximum, which was followed by an elegant flick to the square-leg boundary, prompted captain Wasim Akram to later state that for the first and only time in his career, a bowler - a petrified Akhtar - refused to take further part in the match.

The score: Pakistan 273 for seven in 50 overs (Saeed Anwar 101, Younis Khan 32, Rashid Latif 29 n.o., Yousuf Youhana 25) lost to India 276 for four in 45.4 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 98, Yuvraj Singh 50 n.o., Rahul Dravid 44 n.o., M. Kaif 35) by six wickets.

Toss: Pakistan. Man-of-the-match: Sachin Tendulkar

2011, Mohali: Handing Sachin Tendulkar four lives is just asking for trouble. The stalwart's 85 brought him into the spotlight once again in a World Cup India-Pakistan clash, and took his team to a par-score of 260. A batting collapse from the visitor in this quarterfinal match then extended India's victorious run. The occasion itself was larger-than-life, with every valid ticket worth its weight in gold.

The score: India 260 for nine in 50 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 85, Virender Sehwag 38, Suresh Raina 36, G. Gambhir 27, M.S. Dhoni 25, Wahab Riaz five for 46) bt Pakistan 231 in 49.5 overs (Misbah Ul-Haq 56, M. Hafeez 43, Asad Shafiq 30, Umar Akmal 29) by 29 runs.

Toss: India. Man-of-the-match : Sachin Tendulkar

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