If it is cricket’s role to offer a day-long and all-consuming escape, it did the job well enough when India met Pakistan in the Champions Trophy. A crowd of 24,156 - the highest for a one-day game in Birmingham - and a television audience of about one billion watched the first fixture between the two neighbours since the 2015 World Cup.
India won very easily, by 124 runs, on a day that was - appropriately enough - sometimes warm and sunny, sometimes dark and gloomy. Their batting power has been the most significant opening bid in the first four matches of this tournament although England, provided they qualify, can avoid India in the semi-finals by meeting South Africa - whom they beat 2-1 in their recent series.
It was India’s batting which set this Champions Trophy alight. The first three games had contained quite a lot of mediocrity, truth be reported, and not surprisingly given that the majority of players had only a game or two to acclimatise to England’s particular conditions; and there was plenty more mediocrity in this game, until India’s middle order not only took off but almost went into orbit by scoring 76 from their last four overs.
Yuvraj Singh, a bruising lefthander and India’s most experienced batsman, lit the blue touch paper. To that point their captain Virat Kohli had been earthbound, pushing his ones and twos, as if his reputation as the world’s best batsman had been much exaggerated. He then reached for the stars, scoring 37 runs off his last 12 balls, while Hardik Pandya weighed in by hitting the first three balls of India’s final over for six.
Kohli switched on the after-burners with a fire that consumed Wahab Riaz - although it was for the medical reason of a twisted ankle that Pakistan’s fast left-armer departed the field prematurely. In the penultimate over of India’s innings Kohli proceeded to play two shots, off consecutive balls, that were sublime: the first an orthodox drive wide of mid-off, the second a highly individual stroke which was all wristwork and which deposited a six over extra-cover.
Pakistan, already tottering, fell apart in these last four overs - Mohammad Amir had already gone off with cramp, before Wahab - and it made a distressing sight for their supporters and neutral observers too. Not, of course, for the Big Three of Australia, England and India, who still rule the ICC - with most of the money and all the power. They will no doubt be highly gratified to see the effect of their strategy: how Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and West Indies, the places where investment is most needed, are being transformed into basket-cases unable to compete with the richest and best.
It should have been an influential toss that Pakistan won, but they could not make the most of bowling first at 10.30 in damp conditions because their fielding was so awful and their tactics so strange. Mohammad Amir bowled line and length, very well too until his cramp, and that was about the extent of Pakistan’s maximising the conditions - because they opened the bowling at the City end with a spinner, and played two specialist spinners and a part-timer in all, while India dropped Ravi Ashwin and sufficed with one.
Amir could not swing the new Kookaburra - neither could India’s pace bowlers when the time came - but he did pitch it up and give it a chance to deviate. In his first spell Hasan Ali did too, and that was it. Pakistan’s teenaged legspinner Shadab Khan bowled very gamely and tied down Rohit Sharma for no more than singles at a stretch, but overall Pakistan’s attack made little of the conditions - most notably their most senior bowler, Wahab, who bowled short and wide to the heart’s content of India’s batsmen.
Unlike England’s opening pair of Jason Roy and Alex Hales, who can soon fret, Sharma and Shikar Dhawan feigned nonchalance and gave themselves time - and surely enough they had the class to make it up. They put on 136 for the first innings in almost half of India’s allotted overs, preparing the way for Kohli, Yuvraj and Pandya to go to town in the second half.
Rain interruptions reduced Pakistan’s target from 324 off 48 to 289 off 41 but their innings never threatened to take off. Apart from Azhar Ali, and the promise of Babar Azam, the standard of Pakistan’s batsmen has fallen to sorry depths. None has played in county cricket except, briefly, Shoaib Malik a decade ago, so they did not have the local knowledge of Edgbaston which so many of their predecessors had.
At times India’s fielding was almost as comical as Pakistan’s but Ravi Jadeja managed a flash of brilliance with his running out of Malik from backward point. Malik and Mohammad Hafeez were the bulwark of Pakistan’s batting in the last Champions Trophy of 2013, and neither scored a 50 then, so all too little has changed. India, the holders, have emerged as the team to beat.
WICKET! Hassan c Dhawan b Yadhav 0
That's the game for India, because Wahab Riaz is unable to bat due to injury. Another cheap wicket given away, but Yadhav's figures have been nicely embellished as he's cleaned up the tail. A convincing win for India - a 124-run victory.
WICKET! Amir c Jadhav b Yadav 9
Amir gets two off the first ball of the over, but gives his wicket away the very next ball. Tries to hit Yadav on the up through cover which is more than a tad ambitious. Simple chance for Jadhav in the field, despite his shocking put-down earlier.
OVER 33: PAK 162/7 (Amir 7* Shadab 14*)
Bumrah back into the attack, who has a reputation as one of the best death-bowlers around. A very tidy over goes for only three runs. Third powerplay now.
OVER 32: PAK 159/7 (Amir 5* Shadab 13*)
Oh dear, India's fielding has been good on the whole but Jadhav drops an absolute dolly after Shadab skied a slog. Was well placed underneath it, fingers up, but slipped through. India on the verge of improving their head-to-head record against Pakistan in ICC tournaments to 13-2.
OVER 31: PAK 154/7 (Amir 2* Shadab 12*)
Pakistan start the over with a couple of singles, but Jadeja continues to bowl fast and flat and closes out the over with four dot balls.
OVER 30: PAK 152/7 (Amir 1* Shadab 11*)
Amir gets off the mark with a cut shot for one, but India are closing in here. Jadeja to continue his fine spell at the other end.
WICKET! Sarfraz c Dhoni b Pandya 15
Lovely straight drive from Sarfraz back past Pandya for four, and that's the 150 up for Pakistan.
Tries to run one down to third-man, but the ball gets a little too close to him and he glances it straight to Dhoni with a shot that looked something out of morning catching practice.
OVER 29: PAK 146/6 (Sarfraz 11* Shadab 11*)
The young leg-spinner Shadab sweeps Jadeja straight over mid-on for six with an effortlessly powerful stroke. Gets another four off the final ball of the over - a little chippy perhaps, but it's in the gap.
OVER 28: PAK 136/6 (Sarfraz 11* Shadab 1*)
More uncertain running from Pakistan but they pick up a couple of over-throws. Hard to pinpoint any positives for Pakistan today: they have looked a long way short of the required standard.
WICKET! Imad c Jadhav b Pandya 0
Sarfraz misses the chance to put Pandya away through the legside when he strays too straight, but only gets a single.
Imad faces his first ball, and chips a drive straight to the grateful mitts of Jadhav at cover. It was a shorter length delivery than he thought, and as a result he was always hitting on the up.
OVER 27: PAK 134/5 (Sarfraz 10* Imad 0*)
Really canny bowling from Jadeja, and India have Pakistan exactly where they want them.
WICKET! Hafeez c Bhuvneshwar b Jadeja 33
Hafeez is caught trying to hit against the spin against Jadeja. Looked like it had a chance of clearing the ropes over deep mid-wicket but held up and Bhuvneshwar was there to take the catch.
OVER 26: PAK 131/4 (Hafeez 33* Sarfraz 7*)
Haffez picks up two with a clip through the legside, but almost another ridiculous run-out the very next ball. Turned to go back for two and it was a case of 'after you Claude' halfway down the track but India's slack fielding let them off the hook.
Rare wide from Pandya.
OVER 25: PAK 123/4 (Hafeez 27* Sarfraz 6*)
Nice touch from Sarfraz as he paddle sweeps Jadeja though fine leg for four, and then nurdles one through mid-wicket for a single.
Agins, Jadeja steadies himself and bowls three straight dots to finish the over. He is very hard for right-handers to get away when he darts the ball on a middle-stump line like this.
OVER 24: PAK 115/4 (Hafeez 26* Sarfraz 1*)
Excellent over from India, just four from it and a wicket. Hafeez needs to hit out or get out, really.
WICKET! Malik run out (direct hit, Jadeja) 15
That's a real blow for Pakistan as Malik looked in excellent touch. Goes walkabout looking for a quick single, Hafeez sends him back but Jadeja at 45 finds the target with a flat left-arm throw. Fine piece of fielding, but an amateurish dismissal.
OVER 23: PAK 113/3 (Hafeez 23* Malik 15*)
Hafeez gets legside of the ball and drives beautifully over extra-cover. Pakistan seem a little less inhibited nowm, and Shoaib Malik affirms that - skipping down the track and creaming Jadeja back over his head for six.
Final delivery is a dot and Hafeez will have the strike.
OVER 22: PAK 101/3 (Hafeez 18* Malik 9*)
Another bouncer from Pandya has Malik swaying, but he follows that up with a wide half-volley that the batsman timed beautifully through cover for four. The next ball is an overcompensation: on the hips and Malik whips it away through fine leg for four.
The new batsman has injected some tempo for Pakistan. Thick edge from Hafeez, but it runs harmlessly down to third-man for one.
OVER 21: PAK 91/3 (Hafeez 16* Malik 0*)
Malik negotiates his first delivery but things are looking bleak now for Pakistan.
WICKET! Azhar Ali c Pandya b Jadeja 58
Both players are trying to get down the track against Jadeja, but he is spotting them early and dragging his length back. Hafeez gets another single with a slog sweep.
Azhar Ali tries the same approach, but Jadeja bowls a quicker ball that has just enough overspin to catch a top-edge. Simple catch for Pandya at deep-backward square. Shoaib Malik at the crease now.
OVER 20: PAK 88/2 (Azhar 49* Hafeez 14*)
Metronomic line and length from Pandya, and he ties Hafeez down with three dot balls. The Pakistan batsman has a strike rate of 60 currently, which just won't do.
Two more dots follow, and Hafeez nudges a single to mid-on off the final ball of the over. Pressure building.
OVER 19: PAK 87/2 (Azhar 49* Hafeez 13*)
Half-tracker from Jadeja is pulled away by Hafeez for four, and a mis-field from Kolhi means Pakistan back up that welcome boundary with a single.
The left-arm spinner then bowls a quicker dart that strikes Azhar on the pad as he tries to sweep - loud appeal without reward. Good comeback from Jadeja after that loosener, varying his pace well.
OVER 18: PAK 82/2 (Azhar 49* Hafeez 8*)
Both batsmen living a little dangerously. The 'win predictor' has says India win this game 90% of the time from this position, and its another sound over from Pandya. Bangs one in short that rushes Hafeez, deceptively sharp stuff.
OVER 16: PAK 76/2 (Azhar 42* Hafeez 2*) target 289
Pakistan going along sub four and a half. The required rate is more than eight and a half. I'm not a mathematics genius, but....
Handy over from Andya Pandya is spoiled when he tries a bouncer last ball, and it's called a wide. Digs the bonus ball in, Azhar uppercuts it, and Yuvi makes a right mess of the fielding on the rope. He pat-a-cakes the ball over the fence for a cheap boundary.
I will hand you over to Dan Zeqiri. Cheers!
OVER 15: PAK 67/2 (Azhar 41* Hafeez 2*) target 289
Attractive shot through the covers from the attractive Mo Hafeez. Two runs.
OVER 14: PAK 63/2 (Azhar 40* Hafeez 0*) target 289
The scoring rate has ground to a near-halt. Azhar goes for a big shot down the ground... and is dropped in the deep. Bhuvneshwar the man who couldn't hold on running in.
OVER 13: PAK 61/2 (Azhar 37* Hafeez 0*) target 289
The ball before, Babar had slashed at another similar ball and Jadhav made a muff of the field on the boundary. Mohammad Hafeez comes in and there are four dot balls.
It's a lovely evening there now so I don't suppose DL will come into play, but there's little chance of Pakistan being ahead of that score from here on.
WICKET! Babar Azam c Jadeja b Yadav 8
Oh well, that's the end of Babar. Ban the ivory trade, etc. Short, wide and quick from Yadav, Babar climbs in but has slapped it to Jadeja at backward point. Sir makes no mistake and that's FOW 61/2.
OVER 12: PAK 57/1 (Azhar 37* Babar Azam 4*) target 289
Babar drops and goes, risky, and the bowler Bumrah swoops. Azhar Ali has to dive to make his ground. He does himself a mischief in diving and needs some running repairs.
OVER 11: PAK 51/1 (Azhar 36* Babar Azam 0*) target 289
Yadav to Babar Azam. It's a maiden. Well, something to build on, I guess.
OVER 10: PAK 51/1 (Azhar 36* Babar Azam 0*) target 289
Azhar Ali cuts Bumrah's first ball for four, aerial... but then into his shell for the rest of the over.
OVER 9: PAK 47/1 (Azhar 32*) target 289
That off the last ball of the over.
Pk chasing over 7 an over. Ahmed Shehzad 12 off 22. Perfectly encapsulates him.
— Hassan Cheema (@mediagag) June 4, 2017
WICKET! Ahmed Shehzad lbw b Kumar 12
Last ball of the over, playing across the line. Given! Ooh that looks close to being too high. Shehzad and AA debate for a long time about a review and eventually decide against. Wicket could be vital in a DL situation. FOW 47/1
Can see why they were thinking about the review, but it would have been the wrong call......
OVER 8: PAK 38/0 (Azhar 24* Shehzad 11*) target 324
Azhar Ali with a perfect lofted straight down the ground for four, and then a suicidal run. Pandya has time to aim at all three from extra cover. Azhar gives up running, he knows that he's gone for all money. Ah, the batsman had actually collided with the bowler and stopped running, so Pandya had miles more time than he thought (although India would have had to decide whether to appeal or not). Well, it doesn't matter now.
Mohammad Amir - nothing serious just cramp in his calf
Wahab Riaz - twisted ankle. Receiving ice treatment#INDvPAK
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 4, 2017
OVER 7: PAK 32/0 (Azhar 19* Shehzad 10*) target 289
Kumar, a class act who is well suited to this sort of thing, is nibbling and swinging it just enough.
OVER 6: PAK 27/0 (Azhar 16* Shehzad 8*) target 289
Bumrah testing, probing, until he gives Azhar too much width. A crisp cut for four.
OVER 5: PAK 22/0 (Azhar 12* Shehzad 7*) target 289
BhuKu completes his over.
Suddenly the sun is out
This is all getting a bit confusing for my little brain. Revised target: 267 off 41
So Pakistan need 267 more runs off 36.1 overs. Blue skies now. Let's play!
So forget that 4.55pm.
No longer Mr Blue Sky
Pakistan's revised target: 289 off 41 overs (assuming they restart at 4.55, though it's raining again)...
— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) June 4, 2017
4.55pm restart, innings cut to 41 overs with Pak (22-0 from 4.5) chasing 289. 7.24pm cut off, by which time we need 20 overs bowled. Mmkay?
— Ali Martin (@Cricket_Ali) June 4, 2017
Restart will be at 4.55pm
All other things being equal
Mr Blue Sky
Blue sky over to the left here at Edgbaston. Hopeful we'll get a result...
— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) June 4, 2017
The glorious possibility has been raised
of Pakistan mugging India via DL. Apparently, the DL par score if no wickets fall is something like 103 off 20 overs. That would be genuinely hilarious.
Yes. I'm watching. Yes. I think we'll win. pic.twitter.com/yPEVJUfruw
— Aatif Nawaz (@AatifNawaz) June 4, 2017
OVER 4.5: PAK 22/0 (Azhar 12* Shehzad 7*) target 324
Very murky and the ball is doing plenty. Kumar to Ahmed Shehzad, testing over, and after four dot balls and a leg bye, the players are off again for rain.
Groundstaff are lurking....
OVER 4: PAK 21/0 (Azhar 12* Shehzad 7*) target 324
Yadav with some short stuff. Azhar eventually pulls one away for four.
OVER 3: PAK 15/0 (Azhar 7* Shehzad 6*) target 324
Azhar tucks the ball off his pads for three.
OVER 2: PAK 10/0 (Azhar 3* Shehzad 5*)
Umesh, who is one of those bowlers who really puts his back into it, seems unsure on the greasy surface and it takes him a while to feel confident about his landing area. Anyway, Ahmed Shehzad cuts him attractively for a boundary. But Umesh settles after that.
OVER 1: PAK 4/0 (Azhar 2* Shehzad 0*)
BhuvneshwarKumar will open the bowling. Azhar Ali is on strike. Couple of wides in this over, but otherwise tidy enough. No carry, leaden skies, BhuKu might be a handful.
Pakistan will chase 324 (not 320)
Because: Duckworth-Lewis adjustment and, well, just cricketness.
Singing, and dancing, in the rain
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 4, 2017
Pray for rain?
Virat Kohli with 37 in his last 12 balls. Pakistan will hope it keeps raining
— Tim (@timwig) June 4, 2017
India make 319/3 off 48 overs
130 off the last 13. Goodness me. Pakistan hopeless. Ground fielding and catching shocking. They need something very special with the bat, and maybe a quirky DL ruling to go their way.
Rain coming down now. After 38 overs it was 202/2 and the match was in the balance but India ran away with it.
Pakistan got its tactics wrong today imo, the way to stop India from getting to 300 was to bat first and be bowled out for 150
— Haseeb Asif (@haseebasif) June 4, 2017
OVER 48: IND 319/3 (Kohli 81* Pandya 20*)
Pandya on strike for the last over, and he takes full advantage of his limited opportunity. To say the very least. Imad Wasim dishes up the first one on off stump. He gets the leg out of the way and heaves it for six. Now a flat, brutal slap over long off for another six. Slower ball on off now, Pandya mullers that over cow corner. Three sixes in three balls. He couldn't, could he?
Pandya heaves across the line and misses, is hit on the pads. Given not out. Reviewed. Umpire's call on height.
Hardik now has 58 sixes in 60 innings. Even the likes of Afridi, Sammy and Stokes don't have 1:1 ratio in that.
— Hassan Cheema (@mediagag) April 22, 2017
Dhoni to finish things off, smacks it down the ground for four and that is the end of an utter carpeting for the Pakistan team.
OVER 47: IND 296/3 (Kohli 77* Pandya 1*)
A wicket to Hasan Ali, but Kohli is keen to ensure that he has no other happy memory from this over. He whacks him for a four and a six. Hardik Pandya will be lucky to get a hit!
WICKET! Yuvraj Singh lbw b Hasan Ali 53
Well that looks plum out to me, but for some reason Marais Erasmus doesn't fancy it. Pakistan get one thing right at least, albeit the first thing they have got right all day. They review. It's out.
OVER 46: IND 285/2 (Kohli 67* Yuvraj 53*)
This is grim for Pakistan. Wahab being treated with contempt by the Indian pair. A yorker outside off, Kohli gets enough on it for a four... and it was a no ball to boot. Free hit ball goes for four as well. Next ball, Kohli feasts on length, front leg out of the way, a towering six. Nothing going right for Wahab, he bowls a bouncer now and the Yuvraj top edge flies for four. Fifty. Yuvi smears a single.
Now Wahab is down on the ground! He's going off as well.
Imad Wasim bowls the last delivery as Wahab staggers off. 21 off that over.
Wahab's 0/87 off just 8.4 overs is the most expensive spell in Champions Trophy history. No wonder he wants off...
OVER 45: IND 264/2 (Kohli 52* Yuvraj 48*)
Hasan Ali. And he has been taken to the cleaners here. 17 off the over. Yuvi sorts out a low full toss for four. Kohli brutalises a length ball for six, timing not there, but the blunt force trauma is good enough in its stead. Front leg around the way and heave. Yells in jubilation, and maybe a bit of frustration, as he passes fifty. Hasan then puts a cherry on it by dishing another full toss to Yuvraj, with predictable results. This is a pasting now.
Great strategy by Pakistan not to get MSD in here. They realize how good he's at the death, so they keep refusing to take the 3rd wkt.
— Hassan Cheema (@mediagag) June 4, 2017
OVER 44: IND 247/2 (Kohli 44* Yuvraj 39*)
And it's another drop. OMFG Pakistan sort it out. FahimAshraf the latest culprit.
This time Kohli is the beneficiary. Virat's timing is not the Swiss-watch we have come to expect, he heaves at a short ball and it's dropped at midwicket by the sub fielder Fahim running in from the deep.
It's just not good enough.
Shame... Amir is unable to complete his over
Wahab Riaz has to fill in for him.
OVER 43.1: IND 242/2 (Kohli 42* Yuvraj 37*)
Amir bowls one ball but is down on the deck and needing treatment. He's limping. Is it cramp? Looks like something more. Trainer has been on for a while...
OVER 43: IND 242/2 (Kohli 42* Yuvraj 37*)
Glad you dropped Yuvraj Singh now, Hasan Ali? Gets his foot out of the way and murders the ball down the ground for four. Now he tries a slower ball but Yuvi has seen it all before. That sits up nicely, he is onto it, and it's soon sailing into the midwicket stands for six.
36 off the last four and Pakistan are in all sorts. 23 balls for Yuvi so far.
Does any bowling attack in world cricket receive so little support from their fielders as Pakistan? Almost impossible to build pressure.
— George Dobell (@GeorgeDobell1) June 4, 2017
OVER 42: IND 230/2 (Kohli 41* Yuvraj 26*)
Mo Amir back. Slower short ball but Singh reads it. Great shot to pull for four. Eight off the over.
OVER 41: IND 222/2 (Kohli 39* Yuvraj 20*)
The hapless Hasan into the attack. Nine off the over. I reckon Virat and Yuvraj are going to go tonto here. 48 overs the innings.
OVER 40: IND 213/2 (Kohli 25* Yuvraj 15*)
Wahab to Yuvi. Good one day bowling. Width. Bouncers. Varying things.
OVER 39: IND 206/2 (Kohli 34* Yuvraj 9*)
Oh, Pakistan. Why o why.... Shadab gets Yuvi to mis-hit, it's a very simple chance at long-off, but Hasan Ali has grassed it. Terrible drop.
OVER 38: IND 202/2 (Kohli 32* Yuvraj 7*)
Yuvi firmly guides the ball for four.
OVER 37: IND 194/2 (Kohli 30* Yuvraj 1*)
India had been going along more or less entirely comfortably but have let Pakistan back in.
WICKET! Rohit Sharma run out 91
Oh Virat! What have you done? There was a suggestion of a run out a few overs ago, but now Kohli has pushed into the offside and set off for a run that sells his partner down the river. FOW 194/2
OVER 36: IND 189/1 (Sharma 89* Kohli 28*)
Wahab Riaz comes back on, and Sharma is delighted to see him! Four and a six, Wahab overpitching, he's blown a gasket.
OVER 35: IND 176/1 (Sharma 77* Kohli 27*)
Shadab Khan resumes and gets through a quiet over. Two to Kohli
OVER 34: IND 174/1 (Sharma 77* Kohli 25*)
Amir finally resumes his over. Innings reduced to 48 overs.
Back in a sec readers
Just going to get a bite/ a brolly.
Rain back. Literally just as we were coming back out.
Point would be a decent result for Pakistan I would say. Especially from this position. They have never really been in this.
Soggy but alright
— Dan Dawson (@DanDartsDawson) June 4, 2017
Restart will be at 2.10pm
Sun man on rain
rain stopped, brighter, covers coming off
— John Etheridge (@JohnSunCricket) June 4, 2017
Nothing to tell you right now. Hang in there pals.
Rain stops play
Cheers Ben. There's 25 minutes left in the bank, as it were, before we have to start losing overs. Doesn't look too bad.
Rain spoiled the contest between these two in the 2013 Champions Trophy on this same ground, India getting home comfortably in a DL chase of 102 in 22 overs.
OVER 33.1: IND 173/1 (Rohit 77* Kohli 24*) - RAIN STOPPED PLAY
Amir just gets time to bowl one more dot ball before the rain gets heavier and the players charge off. Such a shame. But we've still got 25 minutes or so until we start losing overs, so hopefully it won't be delayed for long.
A timely delay for us here at least, Ben Curtis hands over to Alan Tyers. Ta.
OVER 33: IND 173/1 (Rohit 77* Kohli 24*)
Hasan again starts with three dots, before taking the pace off the ball with a wide-ish cutter. Rohit can only get it away for a single.
Again Pakistan go short and Kohli cannot connect.
Meanwhile, rain is again a concern. The umpires meet in the middle, but play resumes for now.
OVER 32: IND 171/1 (Rohit 76* Kohli 23*)
Amir in again and trying to make another breakthrough here. The weather remains overcast and the lights are on.
Three singles off the first three balls before Rohit digs out a yorker with the fourth.
Kohli eases the pressure with an uppercut for four off the last ball of the over.
India continuing to progress nicely.
OVER 31: IND 163/1 (Rohit 74* Kohli 17*)
Seam at both ends now for Pakistan, Hasan back into the attack. He's getting the ball to nip back a little and is asking a few questions of Rohit and Kohli.
The former tries to go on the attack, attempting to drill the ball down the ground but he doesn't time it and mid-on intercepts.
In response, Hasan gets Rohit ducking under a short ball - a terrific, lively delivery. Another quiet over - just another single.
OVER 30: IND 162/1 (Rohit 74* Kohli 16*)
Amir continues to bowl well, probing outside off-stump at 86mph or so. Rohit is patient, letting a couple by before finding a fielder in the covers.
Just a Kohli single off the over.
OVER 29: IND 161/1 (Rohit 74* Kohli 15*)
Shadab continues but India are able to milk him for singles.
The talk in the commentary box is about Kohli's tour of England in 2014 and how susceptible he was to seam.
With that, Mohammad Amir is brought back. Is it too late, though?
OVER 28: IND 157/1 (Rohit 72* Kohli 13*)
Kohli's not wasting any time in finding form, glancing the ball down to third-man for a boundary. India running well, too, the final ball of Wasim's over going for two more to the India captain.
OVER 27: IND 147/1 (Rohit 70* Kohli 5*)
Shadab continues, six singles. A nice easy introduction to the match for Virat, he and Rohit are allowed to pick ones up at will.
Mind you, the last one was a bit risky! Needlessly tight run by Kohli, who drops and goes. Rohit would have been struggling. I am handing you over to Ben Curtis for half an hour.
OVER 26: IND 141/1 (Rohit 67* Kohli 2*)
Imad Wasim comes back with his SLA. Three off the over.
I think I'd try a seamer at Virat first thing, not spin at both ends.
OVER 25: IND 138/1 (Rohit 65* Kohli 1*)
I don't really know what to tell you about that. Shadab was struggling with the wet ball, needed a rag. Dhawan down the pitch to a full toss, and plopped it straight to the man in the deep. The Indians in the crowd allow themselves a split second to reflect, then start going nutso. Why? Because Virat Kohli is coming to the crease.
Kohli gets in with enough time left to get his hundred. Everybody wins.
— Hassan Cheema (@mediagag) June 4, 2017
WICKET! S Dhawan c Azhar Ali b Shadab Khan 68
Against the run of play, Dhawan has whacked a full toss down the throat of midwicket. A real stroke of luck for Pakistan. FOW 136/1
OVER 24: IND 135/0 (Rohit 63* Dhawan 68*)
I have not seen Sarfraz Ahmed skipper before, and I cannot say I am all that impressed. Drifty, nothingy display so far. Dhawan sweeps Malik for four.
Ball's getting wet. Bit of drizzle.
OVER 23: IND 129/0 (Rohit 62* Dhawan 63*)
Quieter over at the other end too. Shadab Khan goes for four. Spin at both ends now, the live blogger's bane.
OVER 22: IND 125/0 (Rohit 60* Dhawan 61*)
Wahab needs a break/sit down and Shoaib Malik comes on. He restores some calm with a tidy four-run over.
Misfield count by Pakistan so far: 5
— Tim (@timwig) June 4, 2017
OVER 21: IND 120/0 (Rohit 57* Dhawan 59*)
No hiding place for Shadab, who starts his over with a googly. Dhawan gives him the charge and wallops it for six over midwicket. Ouch. I feel for the bowler. Four singles to follow and India are pounding their rivals at the moment. 33 off the last three overs.
OVER 20: IND 110/0 (Rohit 55* Dhawan 51*)
Come on Pakistan. Get your act together. India are putting their foot down and Pakistan are crumbling under pressure. A terrible over from Wahab, who really is old enough to know better. Short and wide outside off, leg stump half volley, short and wide outside off. Dhawan goes four, four, four. Next ball, Wahab produces a decent slower one, but Dhawan has seen that coming, and dabs it into the offside, where Shadab makes an amateurish misfield. That turns none into two and Pakistan are coming apart at the seams here.
Fifty for Dhawan.
OVER 19: IND 95/0 (Rohit 55* Dhawan 36*)
Rohit slog-sweeps the spinner, does not get it right and is lucky that his top edge lands safe. Ooh, but this is a poor ball from Shadab Khan, dragged-down long-hop. Rohit's eyes light up and this is six from the moment it makes a sweet, sweet sound off his bat. Launched over midwicket, and that's a most satisfactory way to bring up the fifty.
OVER 18: IND 87/0 (Rohit 47* Dhawan 36*)
Wahab Riaz continues, and this is good stuff from the veteran, decent recovery after he had some tap in over 16. india as yet unable to find top gear.
God is in the house.
OVER 17: IND 84/0 (Rohit 45* Dhawan 35*)
Young Shadab on for a bowl. Exciting! Decent enough stuff from the leggie, saves the googly until ball six of the over but the length is not correct. Rohit on the case with that.
OVER 16: IND 79/0 (Rohit 42* Dhawan 33*)
Near mix-up between the batsmen as they ponder a second run. Rohit slips! But gets back okay. Now he's crashed a ball through the covers for four, and after a wide, Dhawan has uppercut another boundary behind square. India starting to happen.
OVER 15: IND 66/0 (Rohit 36* Dhawan 27*)
Shadab gets that teenage frame down swiftly to effect a good stop in the backward point role. Saved a boundary. Pakistan looking more at it than they did earlier. Four off the Hasan Ali over. Word in his shell from the umpire about running on the pitch, and all.
OVER 14: IND 62/0 (Rohit 33* Dhawan 26*)
Here is the man Wahab. Full, swinging, outside off. And Rohit is nibbling! No foot movement, just thrashing. Three off the over.
OVER 13: IND 59/0 (Rohit 31* Dhawan 25*)
Good modern stuff from Hasan Ali, varying the lengths and paces well, it's hard for this talented Indian pair to line him up and Pakistan are certainly keeping India quiet. 13 off the last three overs, albeit without any real attacking intent. You cannot let India have TOO many wickets left in the bank with 15 overs to play.....
OVER 12: IND 55/0 (Rohit 30* Dhawan 23*)
Given the leaden skies, I am surprised we haven't seen the fearsome swing of Wahab Riaz yet. That's not to say that Imad Wasim, into his sixth over, is not doing a good solid job for the team. Just three off the over. Not really looking like taking a wicket though.
OVER 11: IND 52/0 (Rohit 29* Dhawan 21*)
Pakistan look to have a bit more snap and crackle in the field since the break. Hasan continues. Two dots and a single to Dhawan, but now a big no ball to Sharma. Annoying. Front foot miles over. Hasan tries for yorker with the free-hit ball but produces low full toss. Dhawan gets underneath it well and toes it down the ground for four.
OVER 10: IND 46/0 (Rohit 25* Dhawan 20*)
Sharma blocks the remaining ball of Imad Wasim's over, and we're back in business.
in an INCREDIBLY cricket moment
There is now a delay while someone jiggers about with the sightscreen. God forbid that we could have got that fixed DURING THE DELAY WHEN WE WERE NOT PLAYING CRICKET.
We are back!
Restart at 12 noon
And no overs have been lost.
Told minute's silence observed impeccably by 24,500 mainly south Asian crowd at Edgbaston. The day's most powerful statement.#LondonAttacks
— CulleyCricket (@CulleyCricket) June 4, 2017
Covers are coming off
Umpires Dharmasena and Erasmus are out having a butcher's. And we understand that the restart is at noon.
— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) June 4, 2017
While we wait
Let's have a look at Rob Bagchi's excellent piece on the greatest-ever India ODI side. How many of the current XI would you have in?
It doesn't look ALL that bad. I'll keep you posted.
OVER 9.5: IND 46/0 (Rohit 25* Dhawan 20*) RAIN STOPS PLAY
Shame. But that delay might come at a reasonable time for Pakistan. India just starting to tick, and some errors starting to creep in for the Pakistan boys.
Imad tosses one up and Dhawan wallops it. Now a really irritating bit of cricket, the ball knocked into the deep for a single, a wild throw, keeper misses it, nobody is backing up. Oh, Pakistan. Three runs.
Anyway, then a couple of singles and the umpires have the players off after the fifth ball of the over.
OVER 9: IND 37/0 (Rohit 24* Dhawan 12*)
First bowling change, Hasan Ali comes on with his right-arm fast medium. Offers the merest hint of width and Rohit is at him, a lovely, clever, touchy shot behind square for four. Quality act, old RS. The days of 'Nohit Sharma' but a memory these days. Weather not looking too good.
OVER 8: IND 32/0 (Rohit 20* Dhawan 11*)
Imad Wasim continues. He has an economy rate of 4.7 in ODIs, which is splendid. Strike rate of 41, and he has taken more than a wicket a match. Averaging as he does 42 with the bat in ODIs, it all adds up to what Nick Knight would call a very useful cricketer.
VUC Imad worked for five in this over.
OVER 7: IND 27/0 (Rohit 19* Dhawan 7*)
Rohit living dangerously! A bit of width from Mo Amir, Rohit flashes at it and edges the ball wide of the second slip, who is wide. Azhar Ali dives full length but cannot grab it.
ICC Statement on security
— ICC Media (@ICCMediaComms) June 4, 2017
OVER 5: IND 21/0 (Rohit 14* Dhawan 6*)
Bar that wide second ball, this is the first delivery from Imad Wasim that has offered anything to the batsman. Bit too short, Rohit rocks back and cuts for four.
What seems to be a trio of Jack Sparrows
OVER 5: IND 15/0 (Rohit 9* Dhawan 5*)
Now things crackle into life! Mo Amir bounces Sharma, and Rohit takes it on. Hooks! Top edge! But he's got enough of it to pick up four. Some inswing to Dhawan finds a clunk of an inside edge. Mo Amir is a classy, classy bowler.
OVER 4: IND 9/0 (Rohit 4* Dhawan 4*)
Imad Wasim, accurate, darts through an over of his left-armers. Four singles off it.
OVER 3: IND 5/0 (Rohit 2* Dhawan 2*)
Rohit gets his feet moving a bit better in that over, strokes Mo into the covers for a couple. No dramatic shots yet.
OVER 2: IND 3/0 (Rohit 0* Dhawan 2*)
But, sorry to say, that pressure dissipates as Imad Wasim starts with a nothing ball, and Dhawan dabs it to point. The simplest bit of fielding you could wish to see, but Ahmed Shehzad has dived over the ball, allowing a freebie two. Next ball is a wide down legside. No score for the rest of the over, though, Dhawan picking out the fielders.
OVER 1: IND 0/0 (Rohit 0* Dhawan 0*)
Mo Amir with an excellent opening over, it's in the channel outside off and he's finding some movement. Rohit has his work cut out here. Three of the first four deliveries are pearlers, beating the Indian opener outside the off stump. Fifth ball clumps his inside edge. Lucky to survive the over, playing and missing outside off. Great start from MoAm.
Pakistan boys with the flag
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) June 4, 2017
Mohammad Amir will open the bowling to Rohit Sharma
Will it swing for the Pakistan left-armer?
India: Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Jadhav, Pandya, Jadeja, Kumar, Yadav, Bumrah
Pakistan: Azhar, Shehzad, Babar, Hafeez, Shoaib, Sarfraz, Imad, Amir, Shadab, Wahab, Hasan Ali.
Interesting decision to send India in
They've certainly got the firepower at the top of the card to make Pakistan regret that. As ever with the Boys in Green, the question is: which Pakistan team is going to turn up?
Weather is decent up in Birmingham.
There's some intrigue in the India camp
Re the future of Anil Kumble, and rumours that there have been some issues between him and Virat Kohli.
Cricket-Australian McDermott applies for India coach job - report
NEW DELHI, June 4 (Reuters) - Former Australia fast bowler Craig McDermott has applied for the post of India head coach, which will become vacant after the ongoing Champions Trophy campaign.
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) advertised the post last month, while maintaining that incumbent Anil Kumble would be considered for a contract extension after the team recorded just one defeat in 17 tests since he took over in June last year.
McDermott, who played 71 tests for Australia between 1984 and 1996 and was his country's full-time bowling coach from the 2013-14 Ashes series to last year's World T20, said he had submitted an application.
"I have had aspirations for a while to be a head coach," he told www.sportstarlive.com.
"I was away from cricket coaching for a year, and now, I want to come back to it. I have also enjoyed my time in India, and it would be nice to serve Indian cricket."
According to media reports, his former team mate Tom Moody, former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus, ex-India opener Virender Sehwag and coach of the 2007 World T20 winning Indian team Lalchand Rajput have also applied for the job.
Managing an Indian dressing room full of egos and diverse personalities is a Herculean task and former captain Kumble's impressive record will be difficult to ignore.
The BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee, which will make the decision, comprises his former team mates Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.
Here is Jonathan Liew on the rivalry
Often you will hear India v Pakistan referred to as ‘more than a game’, a term that touches on all sorts of mildly ridiculous motifs: age-old religious feuds, geopolitical sabre-rattling, border incursions, nuclear armageddon. None of which, you suspect, will be all that relevant when Shikhar Dhawan nudges Wahab Riaz’s first ball down to fine leg at Edgbaston on Sunday, but then in many ways the hyperbole is the point. India v Pakistan is one of those fixtures that people want to mean more than it does.
ICC confirm that Steve Finn can replace Chris Woakes in England's squad.
So skippers not fancying their spinners
England left out Rashers, and now India cannot find a spot for their match-winning twirlyman R Ashwin.
India: Rohit, Dhawan, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Jadhav, Pandya, Jadeja, Kumar, Yadav, Bumrah
Pakistan: Azhar, Shehzad, Babar, Hafeez, Shoaib, Sarfraz, Imad, Amir, Shadab, Wahab, Hasan Ali.
Sourav Ganguly has the pitch report
"Hard and dry, same pitch for Aus v NZ but there was only 55 overs in that."
Pakistan win the toss and will bowl
Bish talks to the captains.
Sarfraz Ahmed is a delightful gabbler, I like him even more for that. He relates that Shadab, the 18-year-old leggie, is in the XI, Fashim Ashraf is the man who misses out.
Virat gets a huge cheer: "The side batting second will have some pressure. Nice and hard wicket. We will look to use our main strength which is batting. It is just a game of cricket for me, anywhere in the world. We feel normal, the preparations are as usual."
For India, R Ashwin and Shami are out.
Tyers here. Welcome to our live blog of one of international sport's greatest rivalries. Without further ado, here is the toss.
What is it?
It's India vs Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy.
When is it?
It's on Sunday June 4 - ie today.
What time does it start?
It's a 10.30am BST start time at Edgbaston.
What TV channel is it on?
Sky Sports have exclusive live coverage of the Champions Trophy - with this match broadcast on Sky Sports 2. Alternatively, you can follow the clash - over by over - right here.
What are the squads?
V Kohli*, R Ashwin, JJ Bumrah, S Dhawan, MS Dhoni†, RA Jadeja, KM Jadhav, KD Karthik, B Kumar, Mohammed Shami, HH Pandya, AM Rahane, RG Sharma, UT Yadav, Yuvraj Singh
Sarfraz Ahmed*†, Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fahim Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz
What are they saying?
India captain Virat Kohli:
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has denied reports of a rift between himself and coach Anil Kumble on the eve of his team's Champions Trophy Group B opener against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston on Sunday.
Reports of a falling out between Kohli and Kumble emerged after India's cricket board (BCCI) invited applications for the head coach's role last week, despite the team's excellent results since Kumble took over last June.
Kumble has guided the team to just one defeat in 17 tests since taking charge, and the BCCI has made it clear that it will also consider extending his contract.
"There are no issues whatsoever," Kohli told a news conference on Saturday. "There has been a lot of speculation and a lot of things written by people without actually being a part of the changing room, which is very strange.
"There are no problems whatsoever. The team is totally focused on the Champions Trophy."
What are the odds?
India - 4/9
Pakistan - 7/4
What's our prediction?
India should win here, but we're expecting a close match.