The hosts Bangladesh kicked off their Asia Cup campaign against world number-2 India in what seemed turned out to be a fairly entertaining game but the Indians never really looked in trouble throughout the game as they cruised to a 6-wicket win over the home side.
But ‘What if’ there were a few twists in the plot today? ‘What if’ we twigged a few parameters of today’s match, the story of the match could have been very different. So let’s have a look at some of the ‘What if’ situations that didn’t happen but if they did how things could have changed.
Clearly India’s number-3 paceman didn’t have his best day at the office with figures which he’d rather not look back at finishing with 1 for 74 in his 7.5 overs. If an economy rate of over 9 wasn’t bad enough, Aaron had to face the embarrassment of being banned for bowling after umpired punished him for his 2 dangerous beamers. Now ‘What if’ the young Madhya Pradesh pacer, Ishwar Pandey was given the nod ahead of Varun, things could’ve been a bit easier for the Indian Batsman in terms of the total they had to chase down. With 131 wickets in just 31 matches in his first-class career, Pandey is yet to make his International Debut and having been with the side since the New-Zealand tour, it is about time he got the nod.
2. What if Virat Kohli didn’t click?
With MS Dhoni absent for the side, the Indian batting line-up lacked some steel in their middle order. The absence of Suresh Raina also meant that the arsenal lacked experience with Ambati Rayudu, Rahane and Dinesh Karthik fairly new to such responsibility. With Virat Kohli steering the Innings with such calmness, India never really looked fazed or in danger of losing the match but ‘What if’ the new captain had not got his 136 at over a run-per-ball? ‘What if’ Kohli crumpled under the captaincy pressure and got out early, leaving the administration of the chase with the relatively inexperienced men after him? Chasing over 5-runs/over isn’t an easy task on any wicket and against a spirited home side in front of their fans, it’d have been even harder. That is why the captain’s innings was of greater importance. Not only did Kohli get the 136 to make the deficit ordinary but the pace at which he got his runs made sure even the required run-rate was always under control.
With this win India have kicked off the Asia Cup on a good note and captain Virat Kohli would expect his teammates to step up their game even further as they next face arch-rivals Pakistan and Sri Lanka in their next two games. In all likeness, the fight to make it to the final would be decided in these two games with no room for ‘What ifs’ for any of the teams.
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