India began their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign with a thumping win over arch-rivals Pakistan by 124 runs (D/L method). Yuvraj Singh who scored a magnificent 53 off 32 balls was adjudged the man of the match for his knock.
The left-handed batsman during the post-match presentation talked about the start that India got from the openers and the way Indian skipper Virat Kohli concluded the innings for defending champions. Yuvraj also added that an India-Pakistan tie is always a crucial one.
“I thought we all batted really well,” he says. “The openers gave us a good start, Virat finished well, and it gave me the opportunity to go and attack. You just have to go and back yourself, and tell the opposition that you’re here to attack. I was lucky I was dropped, but I capitalised and I was hitting it well. I finished well. India-Pakistan is always a big game, and I think it has set us up really well. Hopefully we’ll take this confidence into the next game against Sri Lanka.”
Pakistan captain Safraz looked disappointed especially on the way Pakistan gave away runs after the 40th over.
“Everything was under control after 40 overs, but we lost the plot in the last eight. Credit to India’s batsmen. They scored 124 in those last eight, and the momentum went to India. I think we need to stick together and control our bowling rate, especially last few overs,” said Sarfraz.
Rohit Sharma missed out on a hundred in this game but the captain Virat Kohli looked really impressed from the right-handed batsman’s performance. Apart from Rohit, Kohli hailed Yuvraj’s knock and suggested that he himself felt like a club batsman while batting alongside the aggressive left-hander.
“With the bat and ball, right up there – I would say nine out of 10. In the field we were still 6 today. Very strong performance, we’ve taken the confidence from the practice games. We need to tighten our fielding to compete hard against the best teams. Quite delighted with all batsmen chipping in with runs. Shikhar and Rohit – last time we won here, the opening partnership was crucial. Rohit took some time going, but he’s coming back from an injury, and international cricket is different to IPL. I felt like a club batsman while playing alongside Yuvi, the way he was hitting the ball. And Hardik, 18 off five balls, was outstanding. We went with four seamers purely because we’re playing Pakistan. They play spin really well, and most of them are right-handers. In pressure situations, to have mid-on, mid-off up and hit hard lengths, gives us an advantage. Against other sides, we might use two spinners, depending on their strengths,” said the Indian captain.