Updated June 6th, 2024 at 02:17 IST

Rohit Sharma's injury worry in India's cakewalk eight-wicket win over Ireland

The 'Men in Blue' will indeed have some sleepless nights going into the Pakistan game on June 9 after Rohit’s injury.

रोहित शर्मा ने रचा इतिहास | Image:BCCI
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Skipper Rohit Sharma’s freak upper arm injury came as a dampener but India's four-pronged pace attack was too deadly for an out-of-depth Ireland during a walk-in-the park eight-wicket victory in their opening game of the T20 World Cup here on Wednesday.

The 'Men in Blue' will indeed have some sleepless nights going into the Pakistan game on June 9 after Rohit’s injury.

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The Mumbai man had to leave the field after a well-compiled half-century (52 off 37 balls) as he missed a pull shot off a short-pitched delivery from Gujarat Titans pacer Josh Little.

The ball hit him on the upper part of his right-arm left Rohit in considerable pain.

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On a drop-in track that offered variable bounce and extra seam movement, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj didn't even need to bring in their 'A' game.

Arshdeep Singh and a rejuvenated Hardik Pandya were good enough to dismantle the Irish for 96 in just 16 overs.

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Arshdeep (2/35 in 4 overs), Pandya (3/27 in 4 overs), Siraj (1/13 in 3 overs) and Bumrah (2/6 in 3 overs) didn't give any breathing space to Irish batters who were made to look like novices in front of swing, seam and extra bounce produced during the 14 out of 16 overs that they bowled.

Such was their plight as none of the Irish batters save Gareth Delany (26 n.o, 14 balls) could even cross the 20-run mark.

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Delany's innings took them close to the 100-run mark.

Later, Rohit entertained the crowd with his customary pull-shots which found their appointed place in the semi-empty make-shift stands to complete the chase in 12.2 overs.

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Virat Kohli (1) and Suryakumar Yadav (2) missed out on some batting practice while Rishabh Pant (36 not out) was generally good in his first outing as No. 3.

The partisan Indian spectators, many of whom having taken a mid-week leave went home happy.

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But the playing conditions and the variable bounce on offer from the drop-in track certainly will leave a lot of questions about the preparedness of the Nassau County ground ahead of the most high-profile match of the tournament in three days’ time here – India vs Pakistan.

There were deliveries that were flying off from length and a few that didn't rise above knee roll and in these conditions, each and every batter could feel that they could get injured -- whether its arm like Rohit or on the forearm and knuckle like Pant.

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Rohit was lucky with the coin and the overcast conditions was just the kind of help Arshdeep needed first up as he bowled an ideal Test match length with the white Kookaburra.

Most of his deliveries were pitched up and reared up from length making life miserable for the seasoned duo of Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie.

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It only helped that Mohammed Siraj also kept up the relentless pressure from the other end as the two openers found it difficult to even put bat on balls that were jagging around allowing Rishabh Pant to dive full stretch on both sides of the track.

Stirling tried to pull one which climbed up on him from good length and Pant ran backwards to pouch the skier.

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For Balbirnie, his 'one-leg' stance turned out to be a wrong strategy to counter Arshdeep as he bowled one that was pitched on middle and moved a shade towards off with the batter with no footwork unable to cover the line of the swing.

The Powerplay gone horribly wrong at 26 for 2 for Ireland, and there was no coming back for them.

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Pandya as the second change pacer bowled a perfect nip-backer with a wobbly seam to breach through Lorcan Tucker's defence.

Bumrah then scarred an already rattled Harry Tector with a nasty bouncer that took his gloves and almost blew away his head lobbing off the helmet.

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At the halfway stage, Ireland, who recently beat Pakistan in a T20I at home, were 49 for 6 and the match already became lopsided.

The biggest gain from the game was Pandya bowling his full quota of overs and the lengths that he hit during his spell which will give his skipper a chance to play an extra batter or bowler as per the demands of the conditions in coming games.

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His three dismissals were different deliveries -- first one was swing, the second seam and the third extra bounce.

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Published June 6th, 2024 at 02:17 IST