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ICC World Cup 2023: Kohli Pilots India’s Juggernaut in 7-Wicket Win Over B’Desh

#CWC23 | #ViratKohli was the star of the show in India's seven-wicket win over Bangladesh.

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Less than 24 hours after the Kiwis audaciously attempted to remould the narrative on favourites, India have re-instated status quo in a commanding fashion, beating Bangladesh by seven wickets in Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, in their fourth 2023 ICC World Cup match.

Chasing a target of 257 runs – which was not daunting by any means on what can be termed as a batting paradise without any apprehension – India chose not to deviate from his acquired affinity towards an attacking brand of cricket. They accumulated those runs in only 41.3 overs, at the loss of three wickets.

#CWC23 | #ViratKohli was the star of the show in India's seven-wicket win over Bangladesh.

ICC World Cup 2023: India registered their fourth consecutive triumph.

(Photo: PTI/Altered by The Quint)

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With a square drive and a cut in the first over off Shoriful Islam’s bowling, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma – who came into this match on the back of two consecutive game-defining knocks – made it evident that he was looking to have a similar impact for the third game in a row.

In the next over, Shubman Gill opened his account with a boundary, announcing his arrival in the competition. For Bangladesh, the writing was on the wall for everyone to see, and accordingly, what followed in the next few overs did not surprise many.

Rohit continued flashing his blade at every given opportunity, with Shubman being the more considerate of the pair, punishing only the deliveries that deserved punishment. This act saw India’s score reading 63/0 after 10 overs.

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Bangladesh had very few moments to cheer in this innings, with the most prominent of them being in the fourth delivery of the 13th over. Having just dispatched a Hasan Mahmud delivery into the stands, courtesy of a perfectly executed pull, Rohit tried to offer an action replay to those who dared the reported organisational mismanagement to be in attendance today. Instead, he ended up giving catching practice to Towhid Hridoy at the deep.

India’s score read 88/1 at that juncture, and 103/1 by the time the over concluded, as Kohli struck a four and a six right after arriving onto the scene, as if to state every batter has inculcated the team’s philosophy, irrespective of individual styles.

The next few overs, although, were calmer than usual, with Shubman Gill recording his tenth ODI half-century in the 19th over. In an attempt to replicate what he had seen from the non-striker’s end during the initial stages, he lost his wicket to Mehidy Hasan Miraz just seven deliveries after completing his milestone.
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Shreyas Iyer, India’s new batter at the crease, adhered to the principles by hitting the second delivery he faced for a boundary, as the team brought up 150 runs in only 23 overs.

Four overs later, Virat Kohli became the second Indian to lift his bat today, scoring his 68th ODI half-century. Although, Iyer couldn’t make it two in a row, getting outfoxed by Miraz a couple of overs later.

India still needed 79 runs at that stage, which were scored by Kohli and KL Rahul. The former played the protagonist’s role, scoring 103 runs in 97 deliveries – thereby recording his 48th ODI century and inching closer towards Sachin Tendulkar’s figure of 49. KL Rahul, meanwhile, contributed 34 runs to the team’s cause.

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Indian Bowlers Bounce Back After Troubled Start

Earlier in the day, the Indian bowling unit also flexed their muscles to restrict the Tigers to a score of 256/8, although the start was not particularly promising. Bangladesh’s first 10 overs produced 63 runs as well, while to make matters worse, Hardik Pandya had to leave the field after sustaining an ankle injury in the ninth over.

The partnership extended for 30 more runs and saw Tanzid Hasan scoring his maiden ODI half-century, before being trapped leg before wicket by Kuldeep Yadav in the 15th over.

Following that dismissal, Bangladesh did not have another substantial partnership, as wickets kept falling at regular intervals. Deputising for the usual skipper Shakib Al Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto could only score 8 runs before losing his wicket to Ravindra Jadeja, whilst Mehidy Hasan Miraz was batting on 3 when Siraj got his wicket. In the latter’s case, Rohit deserves credit for his shrewd bowling alteration.
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Witnessing the collapse while holding fort at the other end, Litton Das finally called curtains to his battle in the 28th over, miscuing an attempted big hit into the hands of Gill.

The next nine overs saw Mushfiqur Rahim and Towhid Hridoy trying to cautiously build a partnership, and while no wickets were lost in this phase, only 40 runs were added to the scoreboard.

But exactly when they needed to get a move on, both batters perished, with Shardul Thakur and Jasprit Bumrah proving their worth this time around. There was a late flurry from veteran Mahmudullah, who scored 46 runs in 36 deliveries, but that was good enough to only take his team’s total of 256/8.

For India, the trio of Bumrah, Siraj and Jadeja scalped two wickets apiece, whilst Thakur and Kuldeep were also among wickets. And, as a subplot that is certainly insignificant from the game’s perspective, but not from that of the Indian fans, is that Virat Kohli also rolled his arm over.

His numbers read – 0.3-0-2-0.

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