WT20: India vs Pakistan, 19th March 2016, Eden Gardens

Another face off. Different time, different location, new and old faces they all locked horns at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The green forest vs the blue tsunami. This time it was for the T20 world cup, 2016.

On social media the e-battle had already begun weeks before the day of the clash. People with different backgrounds doctors, actors, photographers, sports stars, politicians, religious figures, marketing professionals, students, housewives, retired, drunks, addicts and what not…everyone united for one single cause: An Indian victory!

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Couple of stats were at stake for both the teams. India has triumphed over Pakistan in all the ICC world cup clashes leading upto this match. The score line was 10-0 something that Pakistan really needed to change. However, in the Eden Gardens both the teams fought against each other on 4 occasions and Pakistan won all of them. After losing the first match to New Zealand, India had to win this match to stay in the contest.

India won the toss and Dhoni rightfully decided to bowl. Due to heavy rain before the match, it was tough to predict the behaviour of the pitch and the match was reduced to 18 overs a side. It was a good call indeed coz the Indian spinners were getting so much turn off the surface that it looked like all of them were trying to bowl Shane Warne’s ‘ball of the century’ delivery. The Pakistani batsmen couldn’t cope up with the spinners and managed only 118 losing 5 wickets. Not a bad target to chase in this format of cricket. But maybe Dhoni could have kept it even lower. Maybe he could have used more of Jadeja Raina and Yuvi. Not using Yuvi at all was a shocker. However Yuvi made the most of what he could with the bat playing the support role for Virat when he was on a role. Got to acknowledge his innings!

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The Indian chase was all about 1 man, Virat Kohli. Yesterday I officially acknowledged myself to be a Kohli fan. This is a new generation player. When we are more accustomed to people buckling under pressure, Kohli is that new genre of a sportsman who flourishes more when the pressure is at its peak. Game is solid and his mentality is inspiring. His temperament was his Achilles’ heel and now he has learnt how to channelize it the right way. And his gesture to his hero was heart warming

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India won by 6 wickets. Kohli remained unbeaten at 55 off 37 deliveries. And yes Dhoni did strike his signature six and also the winning run.

India vs Pakistan: 11-0

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