You knew that this was going to be different as soon as Rohit Sharma hit the second ball he faced for a four. The India opener wasn’t even to the pitch of the ball from Mohammad Nabi but he opened the face of the bat and went inside out. It didn’t play out as he would have wanted but he got enough on it and it bounced into the boundary line.
A lap sweep – a shot you’ll almost never see early in a Sharma innings – followed in the second over and the 34-year-old was off and running. This was the intent that India skipper Virat Kohli likes to speak about; it was also the intent that had gone missing in the first two games of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan and New Zealand. India were not brave enough, as captain Kohli had said.
It clicked into place, starting from the top, against Afghanistan on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.