Virat Kohli took the brunt of the criticism after his dismissal in the rain-affected Asia Cup match between India and Pakistan on Saturday.
In a riveting showdown of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023, the cricketing giants India and Pakistan clashed at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on a fateful Saturday, September 2.
This much-anticipated match brought forth an electrifying atmosphere as fans on both sides of the border eagerly awaited the battle on the pitch, but they faced some disappointment as both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli got dismissed cheaply.
Team India, donning their blue jerseys, found themselves at the crease as they opted to bat first. Unfortunately, the opening act turned into a tale of despair for the Indian side. Their top-order batsmen faltered, casting shadows of doubt over their prospects.
Skipper Rohit Sharma, a formidable force with the bat, managed to contribute only 11 runs from 22 deliveries, leaving the fans in disbelief. The venerable Virat Kohli, known for his stellar performances, could muster just four runs off seven deliveries before being dismissed by Shaheen Afridi.
Kohli's dismissal, in particular, ignited a fiery debate among cricket enthusiasts. His choice of shot, attempting to fend off a delivery outside off-stump, led to his downfall as the ball found its way to the stumps.
Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian cricketer, weighed in on the situation, criticizing Kohli's decision. Gambhir remarked that it was a “nothing shot” and seemed devoid of strategic thinking.
“That was a nothing shot, neither forward, neither back. I think was a bit casual. That is what you get when you play someone like Shaheen Afridi. You do not know whether to go forward or back,” Gambhir commented during a conversation on Star Sports.
In contrast, the former Pakistan pace sensation, Waqar Younis, provided a more empathetic perspective on Virat Kohli's dismissal. Younis believed that the Indian maestro had a touch of misfortune, citing an inside edge and the ball's uneven bounce as contributing factors.
Younis Khan says Virat Kohli was unlucky
“Kohli was a touch unlucky. Inside edge, the ball did not come on to the bat and maybe even kept a bit low. But credit to Shaheen Shah Afridi for altering his length,” Younis shared.
Amidst the flurry of discussions surrounding Kohli's exit, the Indian middle order emerged as the silver lining for their team. Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya displayed remarkable batting prowess, steadying the ship after the tumultuous start. Their performances promised hope for Indian fans.
However, the unpredictable weather gods had a different plan for the day. As raindrops started to descend from the heavens, the match was abruptly halted, leaving players and fans alike disheartened.
Ultimately, the contest was abandoned, and both India and Pakistan were left with an equal share of the points, marking a rather anticlimactic end to a much-anticipated clash.