The World Cup match between India and Afghanistan ultimately gave the tournament new energy and strengthened the local fans’ conviction that “it’s coming home.”
It was a bet that you wanted the Men in Blue to bat first and light up the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, a rather underwhelming tournament so far, with some batting fireworks during the India vs. Afghanistan match in the national capital Delhi on a flat pitch that appeared to be made of concrete and among fans drenched in cricket fervor.
However, India ultimately produced a contest that not only gave the World Cup more life but also strengthened the local fans’ conviction that “it’s coming home” despite Afghanistan winning the toss and choosing to bat first on a field that resembled a freeway.
Total Domination by Rohit and Team India
India knew they had to chase a low-scoring mark after Afghanistan was limited to 272/8, so skipper Rohit Sharma made the call to use the nets. It is impolite to refer to an international game’s innings as a “nets session,” but the India skipper destroyed the Afghans’ Atalan’s bowling in such a way that it didn’t appear to be any different.
Rohit scored runs with ‘Hitman’-like accuracy, showing no mercy to the bowlers. The Indian captain, who had a six-ball duck against Australia, then hammered 131 off 84 balls, the fastest century by an Indian batsman in an ODI World Cup.
The most hundreds ever scored in an ODI World Cup are currently all seven by Rohit.
Virat Finishes the Game off in Style for India, also against Naveen-ul-Haq
Despite the captain’s record-breaking innings, which gave India the initiative in the chase, Virat Kohli (55 not out) and Shreyas Iyer (25 not out) had to step up to the plate to complete the task. The top batsman and Afghan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq put an end to their feud, which had started in the IPL 2023, during Kohli’s time in the middle.
Naveen was greeted with chants of “Kohli, Kohli” by the boisterous crowd at the Arun Jaitley Stadium as he came into bat in the first innings, though, before the two players decided to declare a truce.
Naveen had been criticizing Kohli on social media since their altercation in the IPL game, but on Wednesday he chose to shake hands with one of the best batters of this generation who was competing at his home stadium, signaling the end of the argument.
“Crowd will chant for their home cricketers and that is what they did. It is his (Kohli’s) home ground. He is a nice guy, a good player and we shook hands.
“It (what happened) was always in the ground, it was nothing outside the ground. People make it big. They need that stuff for their followers. He said (today) ‘We are done with that and I said yes we are done with that. We shook hands and hugged,” Naveen told news agency PTI.
After an outstanding victory against Afghanistan, India’s bandwagon is moving to Ahmedabad for the highly awaited match against Pakistan on October 14. They are moving there with more conviction and confidence.