Dubai: There is nothing permanent and like everything else, it has to end! However, watching it end like this was hard to comprehend. The men-in-blue had never lost a World Cup game to Pakistan. They were firm favorites in Sunday’s match as well. But their rivals had other plans on the night as the Babar Azam-led side ‘hammered’ star-studded Virat Kohli’s brigade en route to breaking the long-running jinx.
This was also the first time in the history of World Cup matches that Pakistan thrashed Indian by 10 wickets. Such a lopsided affair! And the credit goes to Mohammad Rizwan (79* off 55) and Babar Azam (68* off 52) wonderful display of cricket. The opening duo made a mediocre Pakistan look far superior to their arch-rivals.
When Pakistan called India to bat first, there were deliveries by Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali which left every cricket fanatic amazed. Just wow! They were quick and more over wicket-to-wicket. The green brigade was pumped up from the word go. Whereas, the Men-in-Blue were pure disappointment, clueless to add on.
Indian batter failed to read the varieties their opponents delivered. No doubt balls on which KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma got out were unplayable. But that is what international cricket is all about. Not to forget the duo had already played here in the recently concluded IPL 2021. So they knew the nature of the wicket better than Pakistan.
Virat Kohli also struggled in the initial time but he picked up the pace and stood tall while the entire Indian batting order collapsed. There was a little firework by Rishabh Pant. However, the rest — Surya Kumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadega, unfit Hardk Pandya were a flop.
Talking about the bowlers, they were so predictable, no line-length, no speed, no energy. The pacers even started slower deliveries with the new ball so early or on a regular basis that even the commentators were left looking at each other. “You are a pacer why not bowling it? Why are you bowling slower again and again, so predictable,” said one commentator.
This eventually gave Pakistani openers to open their wings and punish them hard.
Another question now erupts is why an unfit Pandya is in the team? He even went for a scan of his shoulder after the match. So it is most likely that Pandya may be rested and Shardul Thakur come in against New Zealand. Let’s hope of the best.
Winning or losing is a part of the game but the surrender by any team is a cause for concern here. And Team India will look to work on it before going into the next game. There is no excuse for it. Not even losing a toss.
The win, set up by Shaheen Shah Afridi’s opening burst, also meant that Pakistan broke their hoodoo against India in men’s T20 World Cups.