ICC Champions Trophy was kicked off on Sunday with a warm-up match between New Zealand and the defending champions, India. Kohli’s men hit all the right chords and registered a resounding victory by 45 runs, as per the Duckworth–Lewis method at the Oval.
Mohammed Shami, who was making a comeback to the International side, (3/47 in 8 overs) along with pace-perfectionist Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/28 in 6.4 overs) bundle out New Zealand for just 189 runs in 38.4 overs after taking three wickets each. The rest was done by Ravindra Jadeja, who, during his marvelous spell of four overs, conceded just 8 runs and also sent opener Luke Ronchi, who was posing a threat to the Indian side, back to the pavilion.
Colin de Grandhomme also felt prey to Jadeja’s line and length, giving Indian fans one of the most admirable moments on the very first day of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign.
And that was an MS Dhoni moment.
We all know how good MS Dhoni is behind the stumps and Colin de Grandhomme’s wicket let us witness the greatest wicketkeeper of recent times to be back in action.
Watch the video here.
— Sudhanshu (@shuklaji99) May 28, 2017
With everybody contributing to the team effort in the first innings, it was time for the Virat Kohli-led team to swap the tools of the trade and come back to the ground with their blades in hand.
A modest target of 190 runs, a not to big ground and New Zealand’s struggling bowling attack, the stage was set for sounding a holler of dominance for the defending champions, and that is what they did.
Despite Ajinkya Rahane (7) going back cheap in the fifth over, Shikhar Dhawan (40) and Virat Kohli (52) rode the Indian side to its first ever victory in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 but it was time for MS Dhoni to shine once again and yes, he did it. The moment might have skipped through your memories.
When was the last time you saw MS Dhoni playing without any pressure and expressing himself to the fullest on the pitch, in 50-overs cricket? It’s been a while right!! However, on Sunday, there was a shot that left everybody on the ground gawking, especially the Kiwis.
Watch that shot by MS Dhoni here
— ICC (@ICC) May 29, 2017
The importance of this maximum through MS Dhoni’s blade
1. This was the only six that came during the Indian innings.
2. While it seems like going straight into the hands of the fielder, the brute force of MS Dhoni’s flick carried it away past the boundary line, which India inevitably needs in ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
3. The moment he came to bat, there was not even a single straw of responsibility on MS Dhoni’s shoulder and he, rightly so, took his time to settle, which helped him to study the attack.
4. MSD was not opting for any abrupt shots, that has cost him his wickets in the past.
All these observations hints towards only one thing, MS Dhoni has started to express himself and if the lower, as well as the upper order, continue to back the whole batting line-up, we are going see more of the raw and brute power MS Dhoni which can really help Indian retain the title in the ICC Champions Trophy.
As for the match, India had already played 26 overs before the rain put an end to the match and when DLS opted, India only needed 84 runs in those 26 overs to take home the game but they already had added 129 runs to the scorecard, winning the opening warm-up game against New Zealand by 45 runs.
It has been a good start for India in the ICC Champions Trophy and how Virat Kohli is planning to carry on the momentum, remains to be witnessed.
Stay tuned for more updates of ICC Champions Trophy.