By Shalabh Manocha
A day before their game against defending champions India, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq speaking to mediapersons at the Adelaide Oval said that history could be changed by beating India for the first time in the World Cup. Little did he know that after the match he was likely to join the list of five Pakistan skippers who have finished their ODI careers without ever beating India in the World Cup. Likely, because, the two sides could meet again in the knock out stage giving another opportunity to Pakistan to get it right.
Sunday’s encounter was like any other World Cup game which the two sides have played where after all the hype and with some good performances from both of teams, India would take the honours. It was as if the format was prepared, only the blanks had to be filled and it turned exactly like that on the sixth occasion they played each other winning the game by 76 runs.
If it was Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli who got their one-day form back with a half-century and ton respectively to their names. It was Suresh Raina with his 74 runs again proving his worth in the limited overs format as India posted 300.
When it came to Pakistan’s bowling, it looked good only in patches, especially at the death overs, where Sohail Khan and Wahab Riaz got a few quick wickets. With the bat they looked to give India a tough fight even after Younis Khan failed in his role as a make-shift opener. His partner Ahmad Shahzad and the skipper batted well but from over number 18 to 25 they lost four wickets and never recovered from that setback, handing India an easy win to begin their campaign.