CT 2017: Win over Pakistan emphatic start for title defence, says Yuvraj

India's Virat Kohli bats as Pakistan wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed looks on during the ICC Champions trophy match at Edgbaston in Birmingham central England

"A record crowd provided an electric soundtrack on a frustrating wet day as India's batsmen pounded Pakistan into the ground", The Hindu wrote. Yuvraj Singh won the Man of the Match award.

When on 37, Azhar Ali was dropped by Bhuvneshwar Kumar running in from long-on. Pakistan played pathetic cricket facing a huge total during rain interruptions and surrendered meekly in the end.

In this context it is worthy to mention that the 35 year-old batsman too had been diagnosed with cancer in the year 2014 but his mental strength and love for sports helped him to come back in his world.

Sharma's 91 was the highest of the scores, but also the least fluent, while Kohli's unbeaten 81 culminated in some thrilling strokeplay that saw India plunder 72 from the last 24 balls of an innings reduced to 48 overs by rain delays. The Pakistani side looked clueless while trying in vain to get the ferocious Indian batsmen out. Rohit Sharma and Shikar Dhawan gave a rollicking start and well sustained by Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh.

It was not surprising that Sarfraz Ahmed sent India in to bat after winning the toss under overcast conditions. Teams do tend to try to attack and get out as well. "For us to have a performance as tentative as that right from the start is a worry and the only thing I can think of is the magnitude of the occasion got to them". Amir on the other hand had the best economy among the bowlers of both teams at just 3.91. And we came back in, and so as a player who likes to play the long innings, till the end and usually plays like that for the team, it becomes very hard to find momentum every time you come back and all you gotta do is play yourself in again.

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Left-arm pacer Junaid Khan is expected to replace Wahab Riaz in the playing XI of the Pakistan team. In the process, Rohit, who was struggling initially, got to his half-century in the 19th over with a pull-shot that went for a six at the mid-wicket.

Kohli had made 43 when he was missed by substitute Fakhar Zaman, who could not hold a top-edged hook off Wahab.

Pakistan were ordinary on the field with Hasan Ali guilty of dropping Yuvraj when he was on 9.

Subsequently, Pakistan also lost opener Ahmed Shehzad and Babar Azam cheaply for 12 and 8 runs respectively, before Mohammad Hafeez provided the side with some resistance by his 33-run knock.

Besides Umesh, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja had two wickets apeice, while Bhuvneshwar provided the first breakthrough.

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