Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

India thrash Pakistan by 124 runs to lead CT group

India thrash Pakistan by 124 runs to lead CT group

Earlier, put in to bat first, openers Rohit Sharma (91) and Shikhar Dhawan (68) provided their side with a ideal start as not only did they blast half-centuries each, but also went on to stitch a huge 136-run stand, thus making them the most successful opening pair in the history of the eight-team marquee event.

This was a game that only one team looked like winning and the fact that India were so convincing against their biggest rivals will certainly give them more confidence as they look to hold on to the title they won four years ago.

A 136-run opening stand between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan laid the foundation for a big total but Kohli appeared to struggle for momentum in the rain-interrupted match.

Pakistan were donated a wicket, however, when Dhawan hoisted a full toss from teenage leg-spinner Shadab Khan straight to Azhar at deep midwicket.

"The worrying thing for me, and it has been for a period of time, is we just do the basics wrong", said Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur.

Afridi said Pakistan had allowed Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to settle down and once that happened, it was hard to stop the duo. "And all you've gotta do is play yourself in again", said Kohli and added, "Yuvi came in and just took all the pressure off me".

"Yuvi took pressure off when I couldn't get runs".

Pakistan who lost by 124 runs in a rain-shortened match against India, next face South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

"(He has) unbelievable ability so I think those three sixes and a boundary was probably a little bit of difference as well in the end", the Indian captain said while speaking of the defining call.

But no member of India's attack leaked runs in the way Wahab had done. Yuvraj powered his way to a half-century in just 29 balls, which eventually earned him the "Man of the Match" award.

An unperturbed Kohli and new batsman Pandya played freely and started knocking the ball out of the ground. "IPL is different, but worldwide runs are very different, against a quality bowling attack as well", Kohli said.

"I would give our fielding 6/10, and that also, I would give all 6 points to Ravindra Jadeja (because of the run out)", he added.

There were also question marks on whether Hardik Pandya would find a place in the playing XI, with India maybe going in with five pure bowlers instead of four and the all-rounder.

With Champions Trophy being a tournament which has actually no room for slip ups, India would definitely want to improve on this aspect as they progress in the tournament.

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