From “Mauka Mauka” ad to Bollywood actress Poonam Pandey’s fitting reply, from pundits’ statements to stars being among the attendees in Manchester’s ground, the India-Pakistan round-robin clash of the World Cup 2019 had everything that an encounter of this importance requires.
Though India skipper Virat Kohli before the match had quoted this as “just another game” but the kind of build that any India-Pakistan match has, makes it different from other rivalries for sure.
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Kohli’s side might have ranked it as another cricket game for them but the professionalism that the team showed was impeccable. From batting to bowling and fielding, The Men in Blue ticked all the boxes and went all guns blazing.
On the other side, Pakistan already had some issues. Despite rating the pitch as dry and being vocal about the overcast conditions, at the toss, Sarfaraz Ahmed opted to field.
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In the field, his unit seemed to be very lazy right from the beginning and let off someone like a Rohit Sharma who eventually notched up a ton. As soon as Kohli’s troops crossed the 300-run mark, Pakistan players’ body language turned into an under-confident one.
The “already given up” gesture from Pakistan captain came after India’s innings was resumed after a halt due to rain.
Pakistan eventually lost the game by a margin of 89 runs (D/L Method). Sarfaraz got trolled for his on-field gestures and decisions while the fans humiliated the side as much as they could.
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But what were the fans upset about? The defeat? Surely not. It was the way the Pakistan unit carried themselves through the match. Former players have often compared Sarfaraz to Kohli, not for his captaincy but for his fitness. On Sunday, the regime that Pakistan team follows was pretty evident.
The fans have been upset about the commitment, passion and lack of enthusiasm that the side shows. It’s WORLD CUP and a certain team needs to be spot on with their decision, backup plans, fitness regimes and playing combinations. Pakistan are certainly lacking all of them.
It’s not just Sarfaraz who needs to be blamed for their dismal show but the selection panel and the management also have a role to play in this kind of performance. Coach Mickey Arthur, who is known to be one of the most animated characters in the cricketing world has got no backup plans for the side. On the other hand, former cricketers who should be roped in to take the charge of the team are warming the seats in the commentary box. Third and the final thing is that Sarafraz might have given them an ICC trophy but he and his unit is stuck in that Champions Trophy-winning zone and need to get back to the reality.
Jokes and Memes apart, Pakistan cricket actually needs to come out of that CT 2017 final win. They have a captain who yawns while the match is on, a coach who is generally animated but has no backup plans when it boils down to a big clash, two of the most experienced all-rounders who are presently contributing nothing and lastly, the finest ex-players are sitting in the commentary box or making their YouTube channels popular and getting frustrated every time they see you guys on the field.