Following a dominating win over the arch-rivals Pakistan, under the leadership of Virat Kohli Team India wasn’t too bothered before locking horns with Afghanistan in Southampton in the ongoing ICC World Cup. But, what eventually unfolded at the Rose Bowl stadium surely left most of the people in cricketing fraternity shocked, let alone Indian fans.
Unbeaten India was put to test to its limits by Afghanistan. On a sluggish track that had a bit of tennis-ball bounce, the Afghanistan bowling unit produced a spirited performance to restrict the strong Indian batting line-up to a below-par total of 224/8 – their lowest first innings total after batting all 50 overs since 2010.
The veteran Indian batsmen like Rohit Sharma (1), KL Rahul (30) and Vijay Shankar (29) gt out owing to their errors in judgment. But, a brilliant batting performance by Kohli (67) which was equally supported by Kedar Jadhav (52) down the order saved the men in blue from some embarrassment.
But, amidst a mediocre performance with the bat, Virat gave the Indian fans something to cheer for as he brought up his 52nd ODI fifty. Apart from his fifty, Virat also equaled Mohammad Azharuddin’s record of scoring three consecutive half-centuries in a World Cup as captain. Kohli has been in scintillating form in the ongoing ICC spectacle.
Indian innings on this pitch highlights difference between @imVkohli — only one to play with fluency — and every other batsman
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) June 22, 2019
Kohli seemed poised to convert his fifty into a century but his desperation to hit the ball hard in the 31st oversaw him slicing the ball straight into the hands of the point fielder. The Indian captain walked back into the hut after scoring 67 runs off 63 deliveries including five boundaries.
82 ⇨ 77 ⇨ 50*
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 22, 2019
The Delhi lad has now taken his tally of the fifties to four this year as he continues to aid his team in crunch situations. Earlier in the tournament, he also became the fastest batsman to reach 11,000 runs in ODI cricket. Virat has slammed 244 runs in four matches so far and remains India’s second highest run-scorer, behind Rohit, in the ongoing World Cup.