Dhawan aces Taskin pace
Taskin Ahmed can generate some serious heat. But he was taken to the cleaners in his second over by the left-handed opener. It was the eighth over of the Indian innings. The third ball did not give Dhawan much width, but he uses the pace to time the shot into the turf and over the point fielder on its way to the fence. Taskin drops the fifth ball short, and Dhawan pulls to find the gap behind square for another boundary. The last ball was a half-tracker, which the Delhi left-hander dismisses from his presence with lightning bat speed. The ball soars way over square-leg for a maximum. The harsh treatment meted out to their speedster would have just taken all the belief out of the underdogs.
Kohli pulls no punches
Kohli started a bit slowly, but soon got into his stride. Against Mustafizur, who was having a tough day, the Indian captain showed he could find gaps on both sides of the pitch as if by will. The first ball was angled across the right-hander, but it did not seem to matter to the right-hander, who leaned across his stumps and just clips the ball through midwicket. The exemplary timing gives the boundary rider no chance. The next one was overpitched outside off-stump and Kohli had the opportunity to show he isn’t partial to one side of the ground. He gets his foot to the pitch of the ball, and meets the ball with perfect timing and placement. A Kohli cover drive is one of the guilty pleasures in cricket.
Rohit bottles the Fizz
Mustafizur Rahman is never at his best with the new ball and Rohit took full toll in his second over. The left-armer had already conceded nine runs in his first over, so would have felt the pressure anyway. The first ball was a wide half volley, inviting Rohit to go for a square drive and the Mumbai man duly obliged. The fourth delivery was quite similar but for variety’s sake, Rohit hung on the back foot before finding the gap through the off-side. Mustafizur tries to compensates and gets close to Rohit on the last ball of the over, but the batsman had all the answers. A straight bat meets the ball, and with a textbook high elbow, times the ball through mid-on.
Taskin digs one short, and it climbs over Kohli’s shoulder. But nothing seems to faze Kohli these days when he has a bat in hand. The Indian skipper sorts his feet out, before pulling the ball in front of square. In fact, Kohli just seemed to tap the ball on its head and it raced all along the turf to the boundary. So early did Virat pick the length of the ball that it went just wide of mid-on. It must be the ultimate insult for a fast bowler, when his short offering is dismissed through the straight field. On this day, the faster Taskin bowled, the faster he seemed to be dispatched to various corners of Edgbaston.
It was a great knock, especially when it comes on a winning note. I was trying to get a big one, in the last two games. I was quite determined today: Rohit Sharma