India vs Pakistan: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli fail in high-octane match, fall to Shaheen Shah Afridi

Rohit Sharma showed promising signs early in his innings against Pakistan after India won the toss and decided to bat but he was dismissed for 11 soon after the rain break. Rohit took advantage of a couple of rare loose balls from Shaheen Shah Afridi to hit two boundaries but the India captain had no answer to a full ball which moved in and hit the top of his off-stump.

Asia Cup 2023, India vs Pakistan updates

Rohit Sharma had hit hundreds in his last two ODIs against Pakistan. India had last played Pakistan in a one-day game four years ago in the 2019 World Cup and Rohit Sharma stood out with a brilliant century. On Saturday, Rohit was once again the man to watch out for against a star-studded Pakistani pace line-up. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf make a potent pace attack and by the look of things, it looked like Rohit Sharma was gearing up for another one of his classics against Pakistan.

India then suffered another major setback when Afridi struck again to remove Virat Kohli who had got off the mark with a crisp cover drive off Naseem Shah. India had lost two of their best batters inside the first six overs and the rest of the batting line-up now faced a huge task against a top-quality pace attack.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were going to be key for India in the high-octane match against Pakistan but both of India’s run-machines were dismissed by Pakistan’s most experienced pacers. Rohit and Kohli have struggled against left-arm bowlers off all varieties. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli failed with their feet movement against the wily Afridi who had corrected his lengths after the rain break.

It was always going to be a challenge to take on Afridi, Naseem and Rauf but the complete lack of execution from India’s premier batsmen was disappointing. Rohit and Kohli had played the first ODI against West Indies last month but while the India captain batted low down the order, Kohli did not bat all. They were last involved in a full ODI series against Australia in March and the lack of match practice showed.

The build-up to the high-profile match was highlighted with talk of rain. The forecast turned out to be correct and in the fifth over, rain forced the players off the field. The break seemed to work for Pakistan and Shaheen Shah Afridi, particularly as he removed the dangerous Rohit Sharma for 11.

Shubman Gill, who started off the year with a flurry of hundreds including an ODI double century, got off the mark in his 11th over but in more encouraging signs for India, Virat Kohli showed he meant business with a delightful cover drive off Naseem Shah. But that joy was short-lived as Kohli became Afridi’s second wicket. That meant Shreyas Iyer who last played for India in March joined forces with Shubman Gill who himself was trying to return to some kind of form following disappointing performances in the final of the World Test Championship against Ausrtralia and on the tour of Australia.

Published On:

Sep 2, 2023

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