Ishan Kishan And Hardik Pandya
Ishan Kishan And Hardik Pandya. Picture Credit: ICC

Last Update on: September 3rd, 2023 at 10:16 am

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Rohit Sharma-led India locked horns against Babar Azam’s Pakistan in the Men in Blues’ opening match of the Asia Cup 2023 on Saturday (September 2nd) at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

Before the start of the match, India won the toss and chose to bat first. In the first inning, the top order of the Indian batting lineup suffered in front of Pakistani pacers, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah.

Rohit Sharma made only 11 runs from 22 balls, and Shubman Gill scored only 10 runs from 32 balls. But the most disappointing moment for every Indian was during Virat Kohli’s dismissal. Shaheen Afridi removed Kohli for just four runs in seven balls.

However, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya made a solid partnership to put India in a better position and give Pakistan a target of 267 runs.

Ishan Kishan played an 82-run knock from 81 balls, whereas, Hardik Pandya scored 87 runs from 90 balls. The Kishan-Pandya managed to make a stellar 138-run partnership and stood still in front of the Pakistani bowling attack.

Soon after the first inning ended, rain started pouring down to spoil the game. The match officials and groundsmen kept doing everything to start the second inning of the most anticipated match at the earliest, but the showers did not stop.

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Following this, Javagal Srinath-led match officials decided to abandon the match without any result.

Left-hander comes in, so it makes it a little bit difficult for the bowlers: Sunil Gavaskar on Ishan Kishan

While speaking to India Today, former India star player, Sunil Gavaskar praised Ishan Kishan for performing even coming in an unusual spot.

Gavaskar pointed out how Ishan Kishan, a left-handed batsman made a little difficult for the Pakistani bowlers.

“Yes, I think what he showed was that an opening batter can bat anywhere down the order. It’s not easy the other way around, where a middle order batter can come in and open the batting. It’s not easy, but an opening batter can be accommodated anywhere down the order, and he brings a left-handed dimension to the Indian batting line. If you could look at the top four, they’re all right and then the left hander comes in, so it makes it a little bit difficult for the bowlers,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

“Plus, he’s got this great ability to accelerate. He looks very, very small, but he packs a punch. He hit a couple of big sixes and the way he batted really was impressive because generally he likes to get after the bowling. But he was watchful when it was needed, recognized, realised what the situation was,” Sunil Gavaskar added.

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Sunil Gavaskar applauded the solid partnership made by Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya and said that without that partnership India could not cross the 200-run mark.

“There was, of course, Hardik Pandya at the other end who captained the Gujarat Titans. So he knows exactly you know what situation, how to adjust his game and he was guiding him. So that was a very, very good partnership. Without that partnership, India would have 175 or 200,” the former India player added.

In the 5th match of the Asia Cup 2023, India will square off against Nepal on Monday (September 4th) at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.