Remembering the great Sachin Tendulkar-Virat Kohli partnership from Asia Cup 2012
The Asia Cup 2012 match between India and Pakistan saw something coming off age in Indian cricket. There were nerves in this crucial India-Pakistan game, but what we were going to witness was completely unknown.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat. The openers started in grand style for Pakistan as they batted along to stitch a 224-runs opening stand (the highest opening stand for Pakistan against India in Asia Cup). Both the openers, Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed, scored centuries and piled on India's misery in this crucial game.
India eventually got the breakthrough, but it was too late and Pakistan had scored a mammoth 329 runs in their allotted 50-overs. It was indeed going to be a hard mountain to climb for team India.
India, however, got off to a very dismal start with Gautam Gambhir departing off the second ball of the innings. In came Virat Kohli to accompany the Master, Sachin Tendulkar. The chase was on and the only thing to see was that how these two stalwarts of the game will do it. Unknowingly, the Indian fans were in for a treat.
Both Kohli and Tendulkar now had to start the innings positively, build a solid partnership to chase down this mammoth total and they did well in their own calm and collective manner. They took the singles and also hit the odd boundaries and assured that the required rate didn't go beyond their reach.
The stroke play of both the batsmen was exquisite. The crowd were witnessing something special as they saw one of the great batsmen of the game (Tendulkar) batting with the other great in the making (Kohli). The Tendulkar-Kohli partnership kept on building runs for India at a healthy rate and started worries for the Pakistan camp. They complemented each other very well and it was a spectacle to watch - the experience of Tendulkar and the young blood of Kohli taking on their arch-rivals to create a history.
Kohli played a much more dominating role than Tendulkar and nearly overshadowed him. Tendulkar, on the other hand, was happy enough to let the young man take on the responsibility and kept on guiding him throughout the innings. Together they put on a 133-run partnership for the second wicket and laid a solid foundation for the batsmen to follow.
Tendulkar, in the process, reached his 96th ODI fifty before getting out to Saeed Ajmal. Kohli, later went onto score his 11th ODI century and eventually got out for 183, which was his first century against Pakistan and also remains his highest individual score in ODI till date.
However, this match created history as it remains the highest successful run-chase by a team in the Asia Cup. It is also remembered among the cricket fans for the partnership between Tendulkar and Kohli as it was a delight to watch a genius with another genius in the making.