World T20: Shikhar Dhawan chose the wrong time to over-attack Pakistan

mid-day's view on Friday's India vs Pakistan World T20 match

It was always India’s game once they restricted Pakistan to 130 for 7. MS Dhoni’s men got the job done with reasonable ease in the end, thanks to two fifty-plus partnerships — between Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli-Suresh Raina. They built superbly on the platform set by the spinners to earn India a seven-wicket win.

Shikhar Dhawan negotiates a short delivery during India’s World T20 opener against Pakistan in Mirpur yesterday. Pic/AFP.

Panic at the start
Ahmed Shehzad was really feeling the pressure at the start, his inexperience of India-Pakistan contests clearly showing. His half-hearted call saw Kamran Akmal being run out in the second over.

MS Dhoni

Tight Powerplay overs
Dhoni rotated Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and R Ashwin for the first six overs. The trio bowled accurately as Pakistan scored just 34 runs in the first six overs.

Brilliant spinners
Dhoni’s call to play three spinners, including leggie Amit Mishra turned out to be a masterstroke. They conceded just 63 runs between them in 12 overs, picking up three crucial wickets. Man of the Match Mishra turned the ball a lot, finishing with figures of 2-22.

Yuvraj Singh is bowled by Bilawal Bhatti

Solid partnership
Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal resurrected the Pakistan innings with a 42-ball 50-run partnership, and looked set to take Pakistan to the 150-run mark. But India came back by conceding just eight runs in three overs (16 to 18) and picking up both the set batsman.

Strong opening
India got a 54-run opening wicket stand from Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The latter played a very patchy knock, and threw it away by trying to hook Umar Gul despite India having scored 13 runs in that over.

India lost a couple more in the next 13 balls, and it looked like game on, for a moment, with the scoreboard reading 65 for three.

Killer blow
But India’s best T20 batsmen on form, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, ran away with the game from there on with some good, sensible and still aggressive batting. The duo came up with an unbroken 66–run stand off just 50 deliveries. Kohli remained unbeaten on 36 (32 balls), while Raina’s unbeaten 35 took 28 balls.

Point to ponder
Yuvraj Singh dropped a catch, conceded 12 runs in his only over, and got out for one. Would Ajinkya Rahane do any worse?

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