After a disappointing outing in Nagpur with India losing to New Zealand, things had changed dramatically for the World Cup favorites. From being title contenders to all of a sudden, they had a must win game against arch rivals Pakistan, who had just trounced Bangladesh and were looking ominous against India. Some experts pitted this as the best possible chance for them to beat India at Eden Gardens in Kolkata which had been a favorable venue for Pakistanis in the past. One major Indian media house even went to the extent of saying this is the golden opportunity for Pakistan to humiliate India. Stakes were high, lots of emotions were running through and there was no way India could lose the upper hand it has had over Pakistan in World Cups with a ratio of 10:0. As far as I can remember, I have watched every single India-Pakistan world cup encounter since 1996 as an 8-year old to until now. For me, this was possibly the day I had looked forward to the most, ever since I got accredited with ICC as a photographer to cover the T20 world cup.

Amitabh Bachchan sings national anthem for India

Is there a better person or better way to start an India – Pakistan encounter? Sir, Big B led the honors of singing India’s national anthem before the game began. Let me tell you first hand that the entire Eden Garden crowd sang along with him which gave goosebumps to every true Indian out there and instilled a sense of panic amongst the Pakistan players đŸ˜›
This was right after heavy rains in Kolkata which had almost played the devil in this titanic clash. Thank god, it didn’t continue and Cricket Association of Bengal did a tremendous job of clearing rainwater and making the field of play ready in time for a shortened 18 over game which was laudable.

Ashish Nehra opens India bowling

Ashish Nehra opened India’s bowling against Pakistan. It’s amazing to see Nehra still at the top of his game, I remember we used to make fun of Nehra back in high school for his expensive run rates and fielding skills đŸ˜›

Ashwin bowling against Pakistan

Ashwin once again was India’s potent bowling option who tied down Pakistani batsmen with his spin bowling, although he went wicketless he never let the batsmen free their hands in the initial overs.

Dhoni erupts after taking catch

Dhoni erupts after taking a stunning catch to dismiss Umar Akmal off Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling. Once again, spin bowling had put the breaks on opposition’s batting.

Afridi goes big

Afridi didn’t stay much longer in the crease, He came, he tried to accelerate but holed out in the deep. Sigh! we know what damage he can do.

Shoaib Malik heaves big

Shoaib Malik heaved a couple of big blows off Hardik Patel to power Pakistan score which was a commendable total of 118 off 18 overs. The question at the end of their innings was whether Indian batsmen could overcome the total facing Pakistani pace battery or would it be another collapse like Nagpur?

Mohammad Amir in action

Mohammad Amir opened the bowling for Pakistan, he bowled at a good pace and was repeatedly beating Indian batsmen. This guy is sure a tremendous asset for Pakistan and could be easily one of the best bowlers of our times.

Rohit pulls handsomely against Pakistani pace attack

Rohit’s brief stay at the crease produced a couple of sweet boundaries and India’s chase had begun well before he succumbed to Amir quickly.

Pakistan in huddle after dismissing Dhawan

After Rohit fell, Shikar Dhawan followed him in quick succession. It seemed like Pakistan’s strategy of playing 4 quick bowlers was playing well with batsmen unable to play the odd skiddy bounce at 145kph.

Raina bowled off Sami

Suresh Raina was dismissed off the first ball of Sami after Dhawan. India was reduced for 23/3 and it seemed like Nagpur was all happening again, this time the pace was undoing rather than spin. Pakistan had sniffed something here for the first time!

Mohammad Sami was on fire

Mohammad Sami was on hattrick and he was breathing fire at India’s batsmen. He had stunned the entire Eden Garden crowd, not a whisper was to be heard.

Virat Kohli drives carefully

If India had to counter Pakistan’s pace attack, someone had to counter-attack and lead from the front. Who better than Virat Kohli? He’s been the go to man for India, chasing some incredible totals in the recent times. Virat said, bring it on!!

Virat plays on the front foot

Virat Kohli played very well off the backfoot & frontfoot and found gaps regularly. He kept the scoreboard ticking and just soaked in with all the pressure. Here was a man who dwells in extreme pressure and comes out on top more often than other top players in the world.

Yuvi plays a big shot

Yuvi played an amazing cameo with Kohli and both steadied India’s innings and built a partnership which got India closer to the total. Probably, Pakistan could have tried a spinner instead of 4 pacers, remember it was a turning track!

Malik looks stunned

They did have Malik bowling some off-cutters but he was left stunned by Kohli’s batsmanship.

Virat scores a half century

Virat Kohli scored a stunning 55 off 37 balls with 7 fours and 1 six against a testing pace attack under immense pressure which put India on track of winning against Pakistan, again!

Virat bows to Sachin

Take a bow, Master!! Sachin Tendulkar was in the stands and he would have been proud to see what Kohli is doing for India now which he did for 20 years.

Victory celebration over the win

The Eden Gardens erupted, the crowd went ballistic, the who’s who had turned up to witness the encounter were rejoicing the victory of India over Pakistan. The scene was truly memorable for me as a photographer and being so close to all the action, emotions, celebration and being able to capture those moments is an incredible experience.

Akmal congratulates Kohli

Umar: Bhai, tutions kab se join karloo? 

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