The reigning ODI World Cup holders ensured that they got off to the best possible start in their defence of the crown, as India were comfortable winners over their near neighbours Pakistan. Any victory over their close rivals is readily appreciated by the nation, so this emphatic 76-run success in Adelaide will have been particularly well-received back home.

India won the toss and skipper MS Dhoni opted to bat first, hoping to set a decent target for the opposition, as a viewing audience of up to one billion was anticipated to tune into events from the sub-continent and all around the world.

The foundation around which their batting innings was based on was a fantastic knock by Virat Kohli, as his controlled 107 from 126 balls faced ensured that India were able to reach a six-run per over score of 300-7.

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Handy scores of 73 by Shikhar Dhawan and 74 from Suresh Raina, ably assisted the Asian side to their sizeable total. The Pakistan bowlers ensured that the batsmen never got completely away from them, with Sohail Khan taking 5-55 and ensuring that what had looked like a bigger score at one stage, was limited to some degree.

Any target of a run a ball or above is always tricky to chase down, as the side batting second have to quickly get into their stride to ensure that the required run-rate does not swiftly get out of control. Pakistan seemed to have that side of things well in control as they were handily placed on 102-2 by the 24th over.

From thereon in however, they suffered a dramatic collapse to lose five wickets for just 52 runs, as the Indians piled on the pressure on their batsman.

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Captain Misbah-ul-Haq led from the front in a vain attempt to rescue the situation for his side, but despite his gritty 76 it proved to be merely a small consolation, as they slipped to 224 all out. Chief wicket-taker was Mohammed Shami with 4-35, but the bowling was well backed up by some alert fielding, as Ravindra Jadeja and Raina took excellent catches.

The win pushes India straight to the top of Pool B and ensures that they have a healthy net run rate of +1.52 in the early stages, closely followed by South Africa and Ireland, who also took victories from their opening group matches.

Confidence seems to be high among the Indian ranks after their victory, especially as the success over Pakistan was their sixth successive such win in World Cups. Looking ahead to the South African game that is next up for them, they seem to sense that their opponents may not be in their best form just yet, so it may be a good time to play them. #Cricket