Dubai: In the much-awaited India’s clash against South Africa there were a number of standout performances, Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten century, Yuzvendra Chahal’s four-wicket haul, Kuldeep Yadav’s tight spell. Here we are not talking about the star performances, what we are dealing with is one particular show that tilted the graph in his team’s favour. That turning point was provided by Jasprit Bumrah, strangely at the very early part of the innings, and the South African did not recover from the knockout punch and the match went just one way, in India’s favour.
The world No. 1 Indian pacer, who was the topic of discussion after being subjected to random dope testing ahead of the clash at Southampton on Monday, produced an incisive opening spell, dismissing the Hashim Amla and the dangerous Quinton de Kock to break South Africa’s batting.
Chahal kept the tempo, keeping the Proteas batsman on a tight leash, and restricting them to 227 for nine in 50 overs. Only a 66-run eighth-wicket partnership between Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada gave them a glimmer of hope for a fightback.
Despite a late start to the Men in Blue, who are playing their first match when all other teams have played at least two games, Virat Kohli’s team proved that they ready to live up to the expectations.
Rohit Sharma made full use of the early chances that came his way to score his second World Cup century. This knock will do a world of good to his confidence and to that of Team India, coming against a quality bowling, as a good start from an opener will ease the pressure on the rest of the batsmen to follow.
It was a nonetheless a perfect start for the Indians, but the Swamy Army will be hoping that their idols continue the winning momentum until the end of the long tournament.