India's T20 World Cup 2021 campaign began on a forgettable note as the Virat Kohli-led side suffered a 10-wicket thrashing at the hands of Babar Azam's Pakistan in Group 2 Super 12 match at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Reacting to the defeat, legendary cricketer and former captain Sunil Gavaskar termed it a "hammering" for the Indian side.
While speaking to the broadcasters during the post-match analysis, former opener Gavaskar also said that it's important for India to move on and move on quickly. "It has absolutely been a hammering, as far as India is concerned. Hopefully, they will pick themselves up quickly because it's important. You've you got to forget what has happened in this game and focus on the next few games that are there," quipped Gavaskar on air.
Asked to bat first, the "Men in Blue" got off to a torrid start as pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi removed Rohit Sharma (golden duck) and KL Rahul (3) and jolted India. In the sixth over, Hasan Ali removed a dangerous-looking Suryakumar Yadav for 11 to leave India three down by the end of the Powerplay.
It was then skipper Kohli and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant who steadied India's ship, as the duo added 53 runs for the fourth wicket. Pant's entertaining cameo ended on 39 by a caught and bowled by Shadab Khan. Skipper Kohli brought up his 29th T20I fifty before being dismissed by Afridi, who impressed with figures of 3/31 in his 4 overs. Eventually, India posted 151/6 in 20 overs.
In response, openers Azam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan got their side off to a quick start, racing to 43/0 by the end of the Powerplay. The two continued on their merry way, registering unbeaten scores of 68 and 79, respectively, along the way and took their side over the line with 2.1 overs to spare.