India have registered a victory in their opening game of the 2015 ICC World Cup against Pakistan, defeating the side by 72 runs at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday, 15 February.
The defending champions have never lost to their arch rivals in a World Cup fixture and they managed to extend the run to six wins as Pakistan are still in search of a first win. India won the toss and MS Dhoni decided to bat first.
India's approach was very old school as they were playing safe and did not take any risks early in their innings. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma gave a good start to India, before the latter was dismissed for 15 (20) in the eighth over.
Thereon, Dhawan and Virat Kohli put up a brilliant stand, but a misunderstanding between the two led to Dhawan's dismissal. Suresh Raina came in and played a crucial role scoring a half century, which was followed by Virat Kohli's century that helped India reach a total of 300 in their 50 overs.
In reply, Pakistan lost Younis Khan cheaply at the early stages of their innings. Haris Sohail and Ahmed Shehzad tried to steady the ship and were laying a foundation for a successful run chase.
However, Ravichandran Ashwin gave the breakthrough, sending Haris Sohail back to the pavilion. His dismissal was followed by that of Shehzad, Sohaib Maqsood and Umar Akmal in quick successions. Misbah and Shahid Afridi tried to save Pakistan from another World Cup defeat, but were unsuccessful in doing so.
Finally Pakistan were bowled out for 224 runs, thus handing India a 76-run win. Kohli was named Man of the Match. Post which he said: "Probably one of the biggest in my career so far. Amazing way to begin our World Cup. Big game against Pakistan, amazing fight from them. Expectations are going to be there when you do well for your country."
"I just look to stand up to them because I hate to lose and play passionately. I like the expectations. Last couple of days have been too tough. Too many people in the hotel getting worked over. You just have to stay in your little space."
"My role in the team is to bat through, and the power-hitters can play around knowing that one end is secure. The way Shikhar and Suresh batted today is commendable. The support has been magnificent. We expect the same throughout the tournament. Too loud at times for MS to catch our attention," Kohli concluded.