There might have been a celebratory atmosphere across the country, Manchester and other places with Indian-origin population as India beat arch-rivals Pakistan, but for Head Coach Ravi Shastri, this was just another win. The former Indian all-rounder has urged his players to not get carried away, since their focus is to reach the finals of the World Cup and he believes all celebrations can wait till then.
After India thrashed Pakistan by 89 runs (D/L method) in their World Cup encounter at Old Trafford on Sunday, Ravi Shastri sent a stern message to his team, "No celebrations please before the final outcome. Your focus is reaching the finals. Treat this (victory) as any other game in the tournament."
While it’s important that the boys don’t get carried away, there’s no doubt that Shastri will be proud of his team as they outplayed their neighbours in every department.
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul (57) laid the foundation with a brilliant opening partnership of 136 runs, as the former went on to score a brilliant century, 140 of 113 balls. Captain Virat Kohli then came to the party and scored 77, on his way to become the fastest to touch the 11,000 run-mark in ODIs. Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar took the total to 336/5.
While defending, Shankar broke the opening partnership in his debut World Cup match and ended up with figures of 2/22 in his 5.2 overs. Kuldeer Yadav was the chief destructor-in-chief, picking up two crucial wickets at a meagre economy rate of 3.55 in his 9 overs, conceding 32 runs. Hardik Pandya’s two wickets of consecutive balls and the rain were among the other factors that ensured that Pakistan couldn’t quite get going and could manage only 212/6 in 40 overs, chasing the revised target of 302.
India continue to be undefeated against Pakistan in World Cups after 7 games.
Meanwhile, Shastri and his team of coaching staff have got a 45-day extension, though their contracts end with the World Cup.