India begin their title defense with a huge win

The defending champions started their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign with a thundering 124-run-win against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston, thanks to big knocks from all the players.

The Indian players left no stone unturned in their quest to conquer Birmingham, the capital of British Pakistan and had broken hearts of many from Sindh to the West Midlands.

India got off to a brilliant beginning with openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan putting up a blistering 132-run-partnership giving the team a solid start to the innings only before skipper Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh added a half century each.

Dhawan hit 68 runs of 65 balls while his counterpart Rohit hit a calm 91 of 119 but the runs started to come in swiftly when Kohli and Yuvraj came on to the stage. The Indian captain took to the centre stage and hit 81 runs of 68 balls while Yuvraj made a quick 53 of just 32 deliveries he faced.

Virat Kohli played a brilliant innings. Photo: Getty Images

The duo’s combination alongside Hardik Pandya’s impressive 20 run show with three straight sixes hit in just six balls he faced had boosted their score and gave the men in blue 72 runs in the last four overs. With all of their batsmen getting the required runs, the first innings came to an end with India setting up a huge target of 320 runs in rain-reduced 48 overs.

Pakistan made some fielding errors by dropping catches of Kohli and Yuvraj, and had those been taken, it would have been a completely different story.

Taking back control

Pakistan did not have an exact similar start like India but their opener Azhar Ali managed to get a half century, the most any batsmen scored in their camp. The fall of wickets for Pakistan took place in quick succession and they could not do much to prevent it.

‘India had a bowling attack that never allowed Pakistan a realistic chance,’ said BBC Sport’s Tom Fordyce

An eye-catching moment of the day was Shoaib Malik’s wicket as he got run out by an exceptional distant direct hit by Ravindra Jadeja. Malik had got to a decent start and could have probably got more runs to his name had he not been dismissed so soon.

The green army have to forget about this difficult day and look up to their next fixture against South Africa which will be again played at Edgbaston on Wednesay, June 7.

Known as one of the greatest rivalries in cricket history, Saturday’s match sadly failed to live up to the expectation of a fixture to be remembered as it was a one-sided affair with India being dominant in both, batting and bowling.

Kohli’s men will be facing Sri Lanka on Thursday, June 8 at The Oval in London and will look to continue their good form.

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