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Rohit Sharma and the magic in his touch

It's difficult but let's just leave the pull to one side for a moment. I mean, I know, how can you? You can't un-see what you saw happen off the last ball of that sixth over can you? Hasan Ali is not the Hasan Ali of the Champions Trophy in 2017 - or maybe he is and that is the problem because the rest of the world is not that world anymore - but it's not the worst short ball he'll ever bowl. That angle and that line had wrought a couple of minor moral victories after all.

The problem is that it was short and if Hasan Ali really thought that bowling short to Rohit Sharma was in any way a legitimate tactic, then oh boy, Hasan Ali is in more trouble than any of us realise. So too, Pakistan's think-tank: they bowled 27 balls that were short, or short of a length to Rohit and conceded 53 runs. As a tactic this falls somewhere between turkeys voting for Christmas and the ICC's in growing the game.

Watch on Hotstar (India only) - Highlights of Rohit's 140

Rohit chose to bring out the victory pull to this one. This is the one that says I have won, that nothing you or your ten team-mates do today will change that. So big, so towering, so flashy that folks in Dubai are wondering why they haven't built it already. I'm bigger than you, it says, I'm smarter, I'm quicker, I have more money; I am just more in every which way.

It was actually wasted here, even on this huge occasion, near enough the biggest in world cricket. It's the kind of pull that, no disrespect to Hasan Ali, is done a disservice by the fact of Hasan Ali bowling. That's the kind of pull you want to have hit off end-days, 2013 Mitchell Johnson, pre-shoulder injury Jeff Thomson, or any 80s West Indian fast bowler, off a ball spearing in anywhere between your heart and nose - that's how you want to remember it, as if it was part of this thrilling, heaving, cut-throat contest between giants. A shot that brings the world alive and the opposition dead.

But seriously, leave that aside for now. Leave aside the others he played, like the one off Wahab Riaz, the one that if you really had to pick just one from the entire genre to confer eponymousness on (no, it's not a real word), this would be it. You know it well: moving inside, left leg moving up as he connects, looking like he's cramped for room even as he connects. This is The Rohit.

Or the one that he mistimed, off Hasan Ali again, but still hit to wide of long-on and, we'll never know for sure, but it did really look like he was making it harder for himself by hitting it there, when he could've just waited a little longer and played it squarer, finer and probably cleared the ropes. Maybe this was the Bored Rohit Pull and he did fall next ball leaving us to conclude that the prospect of another double wasn't doing it for him.

WATCH on Hotstar (US only) - The best knocks from the game

So anyway, leave all of this aside, because those pulls, even those pulls, took a backseat so they could watch the second boundary he hit today but which, spiritually, was the first. His first came off an inside edge so it doesn't count and hit, as you'll see, is entirely the wrong verb for this.

This was the morning's fourth over and Hasan Ali had bowled eight balls to Rohit by this stage. He'd conceded nine runs but four were from that inside edge - the ball that produced that, by the way, wasn't a world away from the ball that we're failing to leave aside at the start of this piece. Matters were still in hand and this ninth ball was a good delivery, without qualification. It was early, so going full at Rohit had everything going for it. It curved in a little too, like good Hasan Ali deliveries do.

You know how when a tall, inanimate object is standing and you nudge it and it tips over slowly before gravity becomes merciless and pulls it down quicker? Well Rohit looked briefly to be that inanimate object that's just been nudged. He was just starting to tip over when, hello, he has a bat in his hand which has a date with that ball and he touched it to the boundary past mid-off.

Touch sounds like the wrong verb. But a drive sounds inadequate. And hit is factually incorrect. To be honest, use a sense more than a verb. Recall your hand on the back of the bicycle your child is learning to ride and remember how gently and carefully you let that bike go, hoping and praying your child doesn't fall. Now make that bat your hand and the bike that ball - that is how it happened. There's no verb for that.

And you know what? This may have been the ball, a good, decent, upright ball, not deserving of this fate, that convinced Hasan Ali, now blinded by panic, to think going short was a better idea. It's not, in case you haven't been reading.

So that's what the pulls lost out to today. And there was a six he cut over point too, not unlike the one you know who cut off you know who else, at you know where, 16 years ago in another big-occasion encounter. That's barely worth mentioning here.