Asia Cup 2018, India vs Pakistan: Leading the men in blue in place of regular skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma has come out all guns blazing in the high-voltage league encounter against Pakistan in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 on Wednesday. Rohit smashed a 36-ball fifty to put India in command in the modest chase of 163 at Dubai International Stadium. His innings helped India beat Pakistan by 8 wickets in the league encounter. With this emphatic win over traditional rivals, India have topped their group A.

During his entertaining knock of 52 off just 39 balls, Rohit smashed the Pakistan bowler all over the park. His innings included six magnificent boundaries and three towering sixes. With this knock against arch-rivals Pakistan, Rohit has pipped the greats Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Hashim Amla and Tillakaratne Dilshan to become the best ODI opener with the highest batting average of 54.39.

Highest batting average as an ODI opener (minimum 50 innings)

54.39* – Rohit Sharma
50.10 – Hashim Amla
48.29 – Sachin Tendulkar
46.68* – Shikhar Dhawan
46.08 – Brian Lara
46.04 – T Dilshan

The 36-ball fifty from Rohit was his fastest in ODIs, surpassing his previous best (42 balls) which he achieved twice in his ODI career.

India vs Pakistan: Asia Cup Highlights

Overall, the 31-year old opener has amassed 6823 runs in 184 ODIs at an impressive average of close to 45. In his 11-year old career, the Nagpur-born batsman has slammed 18 ODI tons and 35 half-centuries. Rohit has also scored three double centuries in one-day cricket, a feat never achieved by any other batsman in the history of the limited-overs format.

Earlier, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s tidy seam bowling was complemented by Kedar Jadhav’s unconventional off-breaks as India skittled out Pakistan for a modest 162 in 43.1 overs in an Asia Group league encounter on Wednesday. While Bhuvneshwar (3/15) provided initial breakthroughs, Jadhav, making a comeback to the national team, bowled with control to return with exceptional figures of 3 for 23 in 9 overs to break the backbone of the Pakistani lower middle-order.

Jasprit Bumrah (2/23 in 7.1 overs) and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (1/37 in 8 overs) also accomplished their task to perfection. Jadhav’s performance is even more laudable as he did the job of a frontline spinner after Hardik Pandya (0/24 in 4.5 overs) was stretchered off the field due to an acute lower back injury.

This was after young Babar Azam (47) and veteran Shoaib Malik (43) added 82 runs for the third wicket and looked like taking control of the proceedings.

However, Pakistan suffered a batting collapse losing five wickets for 36 runs before Faheem Ashraf (21) and Mohammed Aamir (16) added an invaluable 37 runs for the eighth wicket to take the total past 150-run mark.