Virat Kohli of India celebrates scoring a half century against Pakistan during the Super 4 Asia Cup 2022 clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan / Gulf News

India surprised Pakistan’s young brigade of fast bowlers by going berserk from the first over. It was captain Rohit Sharma who first took the attack to Naseem Shah when he hit a four and a six. Then KL Rahul in the third over hit two sixes off Shah who was their best bowler in the first game. The carnage continued with Haris Rauf facing the full wrath of Sharma who belted him for a six and then a four and then Nawaz was again hit down the ground for a four. But, in the chase, Pakistan took the match to the last over and managed to win by 5 wickets.

It was another thriller. India may have lost but the most important thing for them is the return to form of Virat Kohli.

Runs were flowing from his bat and the running between the wickets was brisk where singles were converted to two and India had reached 92 for 3 with their high risk cricket. Pakistan spinners did bring some sanity by picking wickets but the Indian batsman were clear about how they will be approaching the innings none more so than Kohli.

Calm innings

Pakistan spinners Nawaz was the pick of the bowlers going for just 26 and picking up the prize wicket of Suryakumar Yadav and Shadab Khan picked up the wicket of Pant.

What stood out in the on slaught was the calm presence of Kohli whose presence in the field not only calms the dressing room but keeps the opposition under the pump. Aggressive cricket might come off with few dashers taking risks but if you have someone like Kohli who can hold one end it does bring some semblance to the innings and that’s what will help the other batsman around him to take risks which might come off on some days and some days it might not.

He ran like a hare in the sapping heat of Dubai and it was the Kohli of old that we all have seen for years and it might be a sign of relief to all his fans and to Kohli himself that he once again put in a solid show with the bat and got some much needed runs. The effortless sixes along with his quick running between the wickets was the highlight for India.