MELBOURNE: Arshdeep Singh had “sleepless nights” after dropping a wicket against Pakistan during the Asia Cup, but a healthy team environment allowed the young Indian left-arm pacer to move on and deliver a game-changing performance against the arch-rivals in the T20 World Cup to deliver.
The 23-year-old has come under heavy criticism after going down in a Super 4 match of the Asia Cup last month, with one event calling him a “Khalistani”.
“The team atmosphere is so good that we don’t allow outside noise. We enjoy each other’s company, stand by each other in bad times. It really helps,” Arshdeep told media at the mixed zone after India’s thrilling four-wicket win over Pakistan in their World Cup opener here on Sunday.
Arshdeep removed Pakistan’s in-form openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to provide a perfect start for India.
‘Miracle in Melbourne’: Virat Kohli charms fans in a cliffhanger
Virat Kohli turned back the clock and produced a chasing masterclass as India beat Pakistan in a cliffhanger.
Kohli entertained the over 90,000 fans at the iconic MCG, scoring 82* in India’s 4-wicket win.
Chasing a tough 160, India crossed the finish line on the last ball of the epic battle.
India were 31/4 at one stage but Kohli and Hardik helped India steady the chase.
Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya (40) shared 113 runs for the 5th wicket.
Kohli ended the penultimate over of Haris Rauf with 2 sixes bringing comparison to 16 off last 6 balls.
Kohli’s 2 sixes off Rauf brought the equation down to 16 off the last over, giving India a real chance in the chase.
Kohli also hit a six in the last over while Ashwin hit the winning run off the last ball.
The epic win was followed by captain Rohit lifting Kohli in celebration, pictures of which took the internet by storm.
Asked about the “challenges” of handling two high-pressure matches in the space of two months, he said: “There is nothing called a challenge when you enjoy your game.
“We enjoy our cricket, and as I said, the team environment is very good. We really love our game and when that happens you enjoy the sport and there is no challenge.”
“Personally, I also enjoy my game. When I get an opportunity, I try to stay in the present.”
On what he put in extra to be mentally tough, he said: “I didn’t put in anything extra, I just try to keep everything simple. Mainly, I don’t think much.”
Opening the bowling with veteran Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep trapped Babar for a golden duck and then in his next over he dismissed Rizwan to give the early momentum.
T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli shines in India’s win over Pakistan
Virat Kohli hit a blistering half-century as India cruised to a last-ball four-wicket win against arch-rivals Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.
Pakistan spinner Mohammad Nawaz gifted India two wides and a no-ball in the last over before Ashwin coolly struck the winning run over mid-on as India chased down 160 for victory.
Man-of-the-match Kohli was magnificent, driving India to the brink of victory with 82 not out after digging the team out of trouble in a brilliant partnership with Hardik Pandya (40).
Pakistan were on their way to what looked like a morale-boosting win, but Kohli went ballistic with the bat in the final overs to bring India home in front of 90,293 screaming fans at MCG.
Kohli smashed back-to-back sixes against Haris Rauf in the penultimate over to push India within 15 runs of victory off the last six balls.
With Kohli out on strike, Nawaz caught Pandya with a mistimed stroke to break a 113-run partnership.
Kohli took the blow back and hit a no-ball six as the wheels fell off for Nawaz, who then bowled a wide.
Kohli was sent off the free hit on the next ball, but the ball rattled off the stumps for three overs.
With two balls to spare and two runs needed, Nawaz had Dinesh Karthik stumped but bowled a wide on what would be the last ball of the over.
Ashwin cleared the field with a calm finish to complete the win, sending Indian fans into a frenzy.
Chasing 161, India rode on Virat Kohli’s majestic 82 to clinch a last-ball four-wicket haul.
“Both teams are playing very well. As a youngster you love it. It was a big field, you have to run hard. It also challenges you physically and mentally and brings out the best in you,” he said. ended.