Kohli, Shami help India make it 6-0

Wednesday, Feb 18, 2015,19:50 IST By Abhinav Iyer A A A

“Cometh the hour, cometh the man.” Walking in at No.3 at the fall of Rohit Sharma’s wicket early on, Virat Kohli showed the world his class with an uncharacteristic but gritty Virat Kohli hundred.
With this century, Kohli has now scored 22 hundreds in 150 odd ODI’s equalling Sourav Ganguly’s tally, who took 300 matches to achieve the same feat. He held the Indian innings together and once he got in and allowed left handers, Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina to express themselves with attacking innings. His well controlled innings, allowed the left handers to get back in form before a crucial encounter at the MCG against South Africa, next Sunday. Sohail Khan produced a brilliant spell and kept the Indians quiet in the early stages of the game.
The Indian bowlers produced the best bowling performance of the Australian Tour against their arch rivals. Picking up wickets at the crucial junctures of the match, they helped India secure a 76 run win over their neighbours allowing India to safeguard their unbeaten record against the arch rivals in the World Cup. Mohammed Shami produced a career best, 4/35 to rattle the Pakistanis. His line and length was immaculate throughout his nine over spell and has helped lifting Indian team’s spirit. This bowling performance of the Indian team gives the bowling unit a big confidence boost after facing a lot of criticism over the last three months in Australia. West Indies face the tricky Ireland.
Two countries, four weeks, six games and over 10,000 kilometres of travel await Ireland as they prepare to get their third 50-overs World Cup underway with a match against the West Indies in the picturesque surrounds of the Saxton Oval in Nelson, New Zealand on Monday.
The 2015 World Cup will welcome the Associates on Monday, with the figurehead Ireland taking on an embattled West Indies side. Ireland made their first appearance in this tournament just eight years ago, while West Indies are one of the most storied teams in the game. However, in a sign of the shifting fortunes of two cricket nations the winner is not a foregone conclusion. Ireland will go into the match with a lot of hope and would believe in themselves to beat the Islanders.
The West-Indians’ cricket has been shambolic in the recent times, with an account of a 4-1 away loss to South Africa and losing to another associate team, Scotland in the lead up to the tournament. The non-selection of Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, discontent from other key players selected and poor individual and collective form sees them arrive on the south island in New Zealand for the opener against Ireland in far from ship-shape fashion. An inexperienced captain
in Jason Holder, West Indies do not go into the tournament with much confidence, and they do not seem to be the force to win a World Cup. Ireland on the other hand, one of the stronger associate teams have the quality to surprise a big
team on their day. They have beaten Pakistan and England in the last two editions of the World Cup. The Irish have experienced campaigners in their squad with O’Brien brothers, Will Porterfield and Ed Joyce. Ireland go into the tournament with absolutely nothing to lose. They are not expected to go through to the Quarter-Finals, but this Irish unit can pop a surprise to the big guns of the Group B. Watch out West Indies.


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