India have shown that the divisive spirit of the IPL has not ruined the cohesion of the team. The warm up match against Pakistan was more than just a warm up. Rather it was a prelude to the ICC World Twenty20 in England and also, showed that the game between the two nations is very much alive even if diplomatic relations may have broken down.
People of Indian and Pakistan origin thronged the Oval even though this was only a warm up match, the reason being the opportunity to witness a rare match between India and Pakistan. And indeed the game was played in the same spirit and seriousness if it was an ICC recognized international match.
Rohit Sharma played an outstanding knock in the opener’s role, carrying on from the good work he did playing for the Hyderabad Deccan Chargers who went on to win the IPL 2 in South Africa, making eighty off just fifty-three balls along with Gautam Gambhir who made fifty himself. It was a chase that left the winner in no doubt after Pakistan started well and threatened to take the match away from India until Ishant Sharma came with a splendid double wicket maiden over to ruin Pakistan’s party completely.
While India won the contest, the extent to which the match attracted crowds, it will be hard for some of the matches in the second ICC World Twenty20 to generate a similar kind of viewership. It just goes to show the competitiveness is still alive, the eagerness to contest alive and the spectators alert as ever to an opportunity to bite into a nerve racking contest.
India’s only contention will be the extent of injury to Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan. All said, it appears to be shaping well for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and team India.