Indian Juggernaut beats New Zealand, thunders into ICC World Cup’23 finale against Australia
By Sunil Sarpal
How can you describe VIRAT KOHLI? He considers Sachin Tendulkar as his hero although he has surpassed Sachin’s record of 49 ODI tons. Virat Kohli stands tall with 50 ODI tons and is supremely fit at the age of 35 yrs. Virat’s approach to batting is monumental. He plays his game studded with sublime shots along the ground. He takes full measure of the proceedings which include pitch behaviour, movement or spin imparted by bowlers before launching for his shots. He brings in some kind of stability to the proceedings so that from the other end batters can bloom and maintain a healthy run rate. In other words, Virat is the backbone of Indian Cricket whose presence in the middle gives lot of confidence to other batters to express themselves.
In the on-going ICC tournament, India has knocked down all the teams so as to pave a berth in the finals.
In the semis, India was pitted against New Zealand considered to be one of the favourates to lift the trophy.
After winning the all-crucial toss, Rohit chose to bat first on a wicket where there was not much on offer for the bowlers.
Rohit, as an opener, launched a blistering attack on Kiwi bowlers and set the tone of the match with his trademark shots. Rohit’s ability to see the ball early enables him to pull and hook the ball disdainly. Right from the word go, he puts the opposition on backfoot, such is his class to command the proceedings. His brutal attack up-front leaves the bowlers a demoralized unit.
All Indian batters are in prime form, be it Gill, Iyer, Rahul or Jadeja.
The highlights of the match was contributions from two centurians – KOHLI and IYER, 80 by Gill and 47 by Rohit.
Iyer’s 6-hitting ability enabled India to put up a mammoth total of 397 runs on board. A target such as this is in itself a daunting task for Kiwi batters.
in this tournament, India’s basket of pace bowlers is over flowing. In Bumrah, Shami and Siraj, India cannot expect a better pace attack. Shami, in particular, makes in-roads when there is a sign of partnership build up. In this tournament, Shami has bagged 5 and above wicket haul three times. 5 wickets are considered equivalent to a century. In the semifinal he took an astounding 7 wicket haul.
From Kiwi’s side, Mitchel and Williamson put up some kind of resistance to the proceedings and steadied the drowning Kiwi ship. (Mitchel 139 and Williamson 69). But this was not enough and Kiwis lost the match by a margin of 70 runs.
India has entered the finals and shall face Aussies for they beat Protos by three wickets in the second semis to get a berth in the finals. The ICC Trophy is just a match away from the hot favourates – INDIA.