‘India deserved to win against Pakistan’
Adelaide, Feb 15 (IANS) Cricketers – past and present – Sunday lauded India for their superlative performance against Pakistan, saying they were the better side at the Adelaide Oval and thoroughly deserved to win their crunch pool stage opener of the World Cup.
Defending champions India started their title defence with a bang, notching up a 76-run win against their fierce rivals.
It was the opening match for both the teams and India’s latest win extended their dominance over Pakistan to six matches in the World Cup. The two teams have played on six occasions in the tournament with India winning all the encounters.
Former batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar was one of the first to congratulate the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team after victory.
“What a convincing victory by Team India. Way to go,” he wrote on social networking site Twitter.
His former teamate V.V.S. Laxman was equally effusive in his praise for the Indian team.
“Congrats Team India. Clinical performance. Good to see the way the bowlers bowled today. Lots of positives #INDvPAK #CWC2015,” he tweeted.
The discarded trio of Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan, who played stellar roles in India’s quest towards winning the World Cup in 2011 but ignored for the 2015 squad after a prolonged form drought, praised the team for rising to the big occasion.
They said the win would boost the morale of the team which was criticised for its poor form in the build-up to the mega event.
“Well done boys. Gr8 win 2dy against Pakistan! Keep it up guys. well played @imVkohli @ImRaina and shikar super bowling #shami#keep the flag high,” Harbhajan said on Twitter.
“Well done boys ! @imVkohli bigger the occasion bigger the performance ! Happy for Jatt ji @SDhawan25,” Yuvraj Singh tweeted.
“WELL DONE #TeamIndia !! Kick starting World Cup campaign with a huge win and maintaining winning record against Pakistan in World Cup,” Zaheer Khan said.
Several former cricketers also expressed their delight in India’s victory.
West Indies pace legend Michael Holding said the win was a result of India’s improved bowling performance, particularly the pacers, who collectively took seven of the ten PakistanI wickets.
Mohammed Shami led the bowling attack, picking up four wickets for 35 runs. Fellow pacers Umesh Yadav (2/50) and Mohit Sharma (2/35) complemented him well.
“One of the reason’s India did well was because Indian seamers bowled a lot better than what people expected, Mohammad Shami was outstanding today,” Holding was quoted as saying by a television channel.
Ex-India opener, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, member of the 1983-Cup winning squad, said the win ensured that Indian batsmen returned to form after a lean spell which augurs well for the team’s ambitions of defending its crown.
“India played really well. Three players have come back to form which is great. They planned it well today and executed it perfectly,” he said to a TV channel.