Having survived a scare a night before against Hong Kong, India shed off rustiness and complacency to spring up one of its best overall performances in recent times, with its pace battery, spin variations and sublime batting all working in tandem to hand out Pakistan a humiliating 8-wicket defeat in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018.
So much so was India's total domination with the ball and the bat that match ended two hours before the stipulated time with over 20 overs still remaining.
Right from the very word go, the focus was back and so was motivation as the Indian bowlers had more than a point to prove after their listless and lackluster performance against Hong Kong on Wednesday.
In cricket, batsmen thrive on partnerships and bowlers hunt in pairs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who looked a pale shadow of himself a day before, was back in his elements as soon as he shared the new ball with Jasprit Bumrah. The duo were simply unstoppable, and at times, unplayable, firing on all cylinders as the Pakistani batsmen were at sea dealing with them.
The game was won inside the first quarter as Pakistani top and middle order were consumed by the ruthless and relentless display of quality fast bowling. Pakistani batsmen simply lost the plot, the battle and the wickets on regular intervals and never looked into the game.
As soon the pace duo of Kumar and Bumrah was replaced, an equally effective spin trio of Chahal, Kuldeep & Kedar Jadhav never gave the Pakistani batsmen an inch and an average over 4 runs per over at any point of the match.
The Indian batsmen required a formality to complete as 163 runs target was far from being competitive and pose any threat to Rohit Sharma amd co. Shikhar Dhawan continued from where he had left in the previous match with a solïd 46 runs while Rohit Sharma's 53 runs innings had an imprint of both majestic and sublime shots.
After they were dismissed in quick succession, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik, fighting for a place in the XI, took the team home with a calm and composed batting display.