India VS Pak @ MCG: Three Factors That Swung The Pendulum In Favour Of “Men In Blue” 

In the last two years, cricket fans in the subcontinent have been treated with four Indo-Pak encounters and except for the one match held in the UAE, all the others ended up as nail-biters. Continuing the trend, the 2022 T-20 World Cup clash between the arch-rivals on October 23 also live up to the hype and hoopla surrounding high-octane thrillers and kept the viewers on the edge till the very end. In the seesawing encounter at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), India eventually emerged victorious. So, let us focus on three aspects that turned the tide in India’s favour. 

Bowlers’ Testing Spell Initially 

It’s as clear as daylight by now that Pakistan’s batting is all about Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Send these two guys packing as quickly as possible, then the rest will also crumble like a badly constructed bridge. And Indian bowlers did exactly the same. The new kid on the block, Arshdeep Singh aided by helpful conditions at the MCG troubled both the mainstays of the Pak batting and got rid of them without troubling the scorers much. Then the rest of the “Men in Green” wilted under pressure, except for Shan Masood and Iftikhar Ahmed and Pak ended up with a decent but hardly imposing total. Had our bowlers messed up then India would have had a mountain to climb but all the pacers, especially Arshdeep and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, were on the money in an extremely crucial and emotional encounter. 

Virat Unleashed His Beast Mode When It Mattered The Most 

The Team India captain Rohit Sharma said after the tense game that it was not only Virat Kohli’s best knock but also India’s, looking at the situation the “Men in Blue” were in halfway down the chase. Yes, he is right as India were tottering at 31 for 4 at one stage and were looking totally out of the game. But Virat did what a young Dhoni used to when the latter started his international career, taking the game deep and finishing the job with a flurry of lusty hits. Out of the 4 sixes Kohli dispatched to various parts of the MCG during his match-winning knock of 82, the two successive ones off Haris Rauf were even more valuable than gold for India as the maximums brought the target within the reach of India. The innings proved what Ravi Shastri recently said about King Kohli: “Don’t Mess Around With Pop. When There’s Class, Respect It.” We could not agree more with the former head coach. 

Ashwin’s Intelligence & Belligerence 

Sometimes even small acts prove to be very defining in the end and that is exactly what happened in the dying stages of the game on October 23. After Kohli’s blitzkrieg brought India back into the match there were several twists and turns in the final over to even shame the likes of Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock. With 16 runs needed from 6 balls, India lost Hardik, who was well-set, and Dinesh Karthik too quickly to add more tension in the final proceedings. In the end, it was left to Ashwin to score 2 off one delivery. 

However, in a high-pressure scenario, the Tamil Nadu tweaker kept his cool and left the final delivery of Mohammed Nawaz that was pitched on the leg side, which turned out to be wide and ensured that India won’t lose the match from here on. And in the final ball that Nawaz had to hurl again as a result of the wide he bowled previously, Ashwin took the aerial route successfully to get to the winning total. On second thoughts, had Ashwin played a rash shot instead of allowing the ball to go to the keeper anything could have happened. But the tall offie performed the finishing act with the precision of a surgeon to break zillions of Pakistani hearts. 

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