India's Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma top report card; Mohammad Amir comes a cropper in Asia Cup match between arch-rivals.
In another lop-sided contest, Pakistan succumbed to a double-century stand from Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan and conceded the game by nine wickets on Sunday. At the half-way stage, it seemed like Pakistan had racked up a fighting total, but their bowling lacked the bite to trouble India.
Here, we take a look at the report card from the match.
Multi-nation tournaments have been akin to a multi-cuisine buffet for Shikhar Dhawan and the Asia Cup is proving to be no different.
With a fairly regulation target in front of the Indians, Dhawan cruised to a fabulous start, pushing the Pakistanis on the back foot with some attractive strokeplay. His half-century came at nearly run-a-ball and the southpaw proceeded to convert it into his 15th ODI ton.
Rohit Sharma's fine form in the tournament continued as he scored his 19th ODI century and also stitched double-century stand with Shikhar Dhawan. Overcoming his woes against left-arm pace with aplomb, Rohit dismantled the Pakistan seamers with characteristic class and elan.
Bumrah set the tone for the match with a terrific opening burst of 4-1-10-0 where he bowled in the back-of-the-length channel and kept the aggressive Pakistan top-order pretty silent. Bumrah's quality as a limited-overs bowler can be gauged from the manner in which he changed his length, nailed the yorkers and choked the Pakistan innings in the death with four brilliant overs, conceding just 6, 2, 4 and 5 runs respectively off them.
Malik had earned comparisons with MS Dhoni for his uber-cool approach in Pakistan's run-chase against Afghanistan the other night. The veteran middle-order batsman appeared to carry on from where he left off as he resuscitated the Pakistan innings from 58/3 alongside Sarfraz Ahmed. With a perfect blend of caution and aggression, Malik milked the Indian bowlers for a well-made 78 before falling in the death to Bumrah. Sarfraz should probably have used him more with the ball.
Fakhar Zaman seemed to be setting himself up for a massive launch but Kuldeep Yadav brought his innings to a premature end, aided by Pakistan not using technology to save him from a wrong lbw decision. Kuldeep returned to remove the Pakistani skipper just as Malik and Sarfraz were on their way to push Pakistan to a more-than-competitive total.
Chahal drew first blood after Rohit Sharma decided to bowl him early. The leg-spinner trapped Imam-ul-Haq in front and proceeded to grab the dangerous Asif Ali to break a promising stand with Shoaib Malik and completed 50 ODI wickets in the process.
In the side for his ability to up the ante in the death overs, Asif Ali did just that as the Pakistan innings lost direction for a while. With Shoaib Malik going strong at one end, all Ali needed to do was play his natural game and force India on their Plan B. Things seemed to be going well for him as he raced to 30 in 21 balls but he misread a Chahal googly to be cleaned up before the innings could turn into a match-defining one.
Criticised for his no-show with the bat for quite some time, Sarfraz Ahmed switched to a second-fiddle role in the company of Shoaib Malik. The skipper knew that his wicket early would be the final nail in Pakistan's coffin and he was careful enough to guard his wicket while stitching together a decent partnership. However, Kuldeep Yadav got the better of him just as he was trying to accelerate.
One among the few of Pakistan's unscathed bowlers of the night, Mohammad Nawaz used the left-armer's angle and trajectory to restrict the scoring rate a touch but his skiddy pace proved to be ineffective against two in-form openers. Nawaz was also expected to don an all-round role but a run-a-ball 15 late in the innings did little to boost the total.
A 22-run over late in the innings aside, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a good game but as has been the case so many times in ODIs, he went wicketless while his partner Bumrah continued to rack up the numbers. His opening four overs cost just eight and it helped in frustrating Fakhar and Imam yet again but a late onslaught by Asif Ali and Malik masked his better performance earlier in the innings.
After a roaring return in limited-overs colours, Jadeja had an off-day, going for 50 runs in nine overs without a wicket to his name. He was among the more expensive of India's bowlers with the surface not really suiting his kind of bowling. He cannot really afford too many performances like this with Krunal Pandya and Axar Patel breathing down his neck.
In a three-over burst, Jadhav gave away 20 runs and couldn't have the effect that he had in the first game against the same opposition. That said, bowling isn't the primary role for which he is in the side and any extra over from Jadhav would be useful for India as long as he manages to keep the scoring rate under check, which he couldn't quite do on Sunday.
Young Shaheen Afridi has been immensely unlucky to not have more wickets to his name despite bowling his heart out in the two games he has played so far in this tournament. On Sunday, he eked out a false shot from Rohit Sharma in the sixth over of the innings only for Imam-ul-Haq to drop a sitter and let the opener off the hook. Afridi went wicketless in a six-over burst that leaked 42 runs.
All talk and no action has been the theme of Hasan Ali's Asia Cup so far and the Champions Trophy hero was rendered ineffective by a positive approach from Rohit and Dhawan. Hasan was all over the place in his opening burst and never got into the kind of rhythm that makes him a threatening bowler in ODIs. With Mohammad Amir in deplorable form, Pakistan need Hasan to hit his straps soon.
The hero at The Oval a-year-and-a-half back against India, Zaman was given little width by the immaculate Indian new-ball bowlers and the resultant frustration showed in his inability to find good timing even after the duo were off the attack. The southpaw gathered 31 in 44 balls before falling to Kuldeep off an ill-advised sweep shot. That said, he could have survived had he reviewed the decision for he had gloved the ball.
Shadab was perhaps unlucky to be denied of the wicket of Rohit Sharma with Zaman putting him down off his bowling, but the leg-spinner was largely ineffective with his googlies. His inability to control the flow of runs became an issue as he went wicketless in an eight-over spell that went for 54 runs. On a surface where he could have had a bigger impact, Shadab went missing, much to Pakistan's dismay.
After a series of terrific performances in his opening few ODIs, Imam faced the harsh realities of international cricket against India in the opening game and despite a morale-boosting half-century against Afghanistan in the interim, the southpaw appeared circumspect and edgy in his second game against India. He fell to Chahal for 10 after a less-than-impressive start against Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar.
If Zaman's poor scoring rate pegged Pakistan back, Babar Azam pulled it back further with a directionless innings that saw him amble along to 9 in 25 balls before a reckless piece of running ended his stay at the crease. From No 3, Azam has dictated the game so many times in ODIs but this wasn't one of those times.
Mohammad Amir's form has hit an all-time low after he once again failed to take any wickets and also conceded runs at a rate of 8.2. The left-arm seamer has had a horrifying strike rate in ODIs of late and with Dhawan and Rohit in pristine touch, he was unable to even restrict the flow of runs. It is perhaps time for Pakistan to give their prized seamer some time off international cricket.
*Dhoni, Karthik and Rayudu haven't been rated due to their minimal role in the match
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor
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