India show Pak how to win a low-scoring match

New Delhi: Team India, what an effort. On Sunday night at the Nassau International Cricket Stadium, on the outskirts of New York, Rohit Sharma piloted India to one of the most dramatic wins against Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup. It is easy to name one or two heroes, but this was a team effort where the captaincy skills of Rohit stood out.

The win predictor, a dangerous mechanism used online and flashed on television, was showing 92 per cent and even 97 per cent for Pakistan during the 11th over and later. But then, that was just a rough calculation as India showed pluck and poise with Jasprit Bumrah turning in a performance which will be remembered for a long time. Indeed, the middle overs were crucial for India, as they could score only 119 runs after batting first. Of course, Rohit had slammed a six early on and then got out. Virat Kohli also fell cheap before No.3 batter Rishabh Pant played a rocking cameo. His 42 runs were big and the batting style was unconventional. He was dropped thrice as well but the runs he scored was important for India.

As has been seen in the past, India have handle pressure very well in the past. The India vs Pakistan rivalry has become part of folklore, yet it is the Men in Blue who have shown more intent and consistency. The way Bumrah responded, landing the white ball on the seam and making life miserable for the Pak batters was a great story. His effort of 3 for 14 in four overs was world class and had the entire cricketing fraternity cheer him. TV commentators and social media was all praise as the ‘Boom Rahhh’…. chant reverberated inside the stadium.

As the Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya steamed in and bowled, he looked hard. His 2 for 24 in four overs was important. Add to it the zing provided by Axar Patel, and Arshdeep Singh, India throttled Pakistan and won by six runs. “Disappointing loss, that’s for sure,” said Gary Kirsten, the Pakistan coach later. “I knew 120 was not going to be an easy target. If India got only 120, it was always going to be not the easiest. But I think we had the game at 72 for 2 with six or seven overs left. Disappointing not to get across the line from the position we got ourselves into,” added Kirsten, the coach who was drafted in by Pakistan at the last minute.

Former cricketers like Javed Miandad and Salim Malik have slammed the Pakistan team and captain Babar Azam. There is a threat that Pakistan cannot even make it to the Super 8 stage, as a lot will depend on India’s results ahead.

But then, that’s not the way a team should look at its own survival in the World Cup. Something similar had happened to Pakistan also in the ODI World Cup last year in India.

Jasprit Bumrah has delivered in all formats in every country. He was a bit frank after the match when he said: “Some people were not even expecting me to be playing this T20 World Cup,” he said.

“I was trying to focus on what is the best option over here on a wicket like this,” he said. “How do I make shot-making difficult? What are the best options for me? So that way, I try to stay in the present and focus on what I have to do. Because if I look at the outside noise, if I look at people and pressure and emotions takes over, then things don’t really work for me. So, I was trying to do that, trying to create my own bubble, and trying to focus on that and try to put my best foot forward,” said Bumrah later on TV.

As for Babar Azam, sacked and reinstated, he has not lost hope. “Obviously we have to win the last two matches. We will sit and discuss our mistakes but we are looking forward to the next two matches,” he said. Azam conceded, his side had made huge mistakes in batting.

For the Indian diaspora in the USA, this win was huge. “I feel this win has brought us enormous cheer, on a Sunday,” said M.Gopinath and NRO settled in Boston.

Next Story
Share it