Virat Kohli isn’t the official captain anymore. But the 34-year-old former skipper continues to put his inputs to skipper Rohit Sharma and the bowlers. This worked like a charm helping Mohammed Siraj get India’s first breakthrough in their World Cup 2023 encounter against Pakistan in Ahmedabad.
On a flat pitch, many feared that Rohit Sharma had made the wrong call at the toss by electing to bowl first as Pakistani openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq got off to a steady start: they were cautious agaisnt Jasprit Bumrah, who bowled immaculate lengths, while punished the full and short lengths of Mohammed Siraj. After 7 overs, Pakistan were 37/0 and looked good.
Virat Kohli then approached Rohit Sharma for a long chat. With the ball not doing much, and Siraj bowling ordinarily, perhaps the talk between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were talking about removing Siraj from the attack, or some of the field placements.
It turned out it might have been for the latter. Rohit and Kohli decided to put a deep square leg, indicating a short ball barrage from Siraj. Siraj bowled a short ball from Shafique on the third ball on which the batter took a single. With the same field for the last ball of the over, Siraj this time went full and onto the stumps. Shafique, perhaps preparing himself for another short ball, couldn’t bring his bat down in time and was out lbw.
India got their first wicket through some clever tactics from Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Siraj
Earlier, Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first. Shubman Gill returned for India after recovering from dengue replacing Kishan.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Pakistan (Playing XI): Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Rizwan(w), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf