This is a complete dominance from India. Of the game, be it bowling, be it fielding, be it batting. This is an incredible win for India, a fissile win for India. To show that the gap between both these teams is getting bigger and for India to dominate like this in a high-pressure game was just wonderful to watch.  Yes, one can say that Pakistan’s performance was a disappointing one (considering the match-up). Except for that T20 encounter in Dubai which Pakistan won against India in an ICC event over the past several years and also I think it happened in the Champions Trophy final in 2017 that Pakistan was able to beat India. Otherwise, India have dominated in all these ICC events, whether it is a World Cup T20 or One Day World Cup.

Disappointed in a way because you expect this kind of a contest to maintain that kind of hype. You want this to be a big contest, you want this to be a thriller. Unfortunately, that did not take place. And I think all that has happened because India is a much better side. India was much better prepared for a high-profile encounter like this. So India once it was decided to field first. The kind of balance the Indian side has was so overwhelming. And it was too much for Pakistan to take. I think Pakistan lacked in terms of intent. They didn’t have any kind of game plan. They were unable to execute. They may have aspired to score more but whenever they lost wickets there was no one who could come in and construct a partnership and all that was sorely missing in Pakistan’s batting effort.

Indian bowlers have a very attacking mindset. And I think it’s Rohit Sharma who leads the way. The way he was able to rotate bowlers, he had several options whenever he wanted to pick a wicket. So that is why he brought back Mohammad Sairaj, who got that all-important wicket of Babar Azam. and then immediately he got in and just picked Bumrah because he realized that he would not want Pakistan to bat 50 overs. That would have meant that Pakistan in the end would have managed to get to put 270-280. He wanted to wrap it up quickly and that is why he brought back all his attacking options in Bumrah and these guys have been phenomenal. So I think that’s what I said, Pakistan missed a proper game plan. It missed proper application to bat on a track like this. When you realize you are 155 for 2, 155 for 3 with Babar Azam back in the hut, it becomes imperative that you have a game plan in front of you. How do we advance from here? How do we construct an innings that will help us to get to about 270-280 on a track like this, which had some more vagaries in terms of bounce that would have been a difficult target for India. But somehow for inexplicable reasons, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and the collapse, I think once you lose so many wickets in a span of about 30-40 runs there is no way you can come back in a match and expect to win. 

Pakistan can regain from here. It is not that Pakistan is an average side. They have this uncanny ability to bounce back. They have done that in the past. So one can expect Babar Azam and company to come back. You see, because of the way the format is in front of us in this World Cup, there are six teams, top six teams, out of which 14 will qualify. Even now, since they have lost this game against India, they need to win maybe two or three big games against some big nations. If they can do so, then they will come back and take a claim for the semi-final. It may not be an easy task for them, but I think it is more important for them to get their act together. Barber has some good to see him getting a 50, but the other players in the side, need to contribute, not only in the batting but also in the bowling.

It seems like it’s been a great campaign so far. India has been very smart in terms of the preparation. We kept criticising how come we are trying to bring back KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Jasprit Bumrah. But now we see this for a reason. That is why the Indian selectors along with the team management, they waited right till the end for all these three players. And then gradually they made them play some practice matches and then slowly they were recalled in the side. Because all these three players have added more muscle to the Indian side. So India is going from strength to strength and I expect them to do in a similar fashion in the upcoming matches. So India is left with three big games here, England and New Zealand. These three teams will pose a different kind of challenge for India. I believe that India is up for that kind of challenge.

(Saba Karim is a former Indian cricket team wicketkeeper and also an ex-BCCI selector.)

Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *