India vs Pakistan

Shaheen Shah Afridi. File
Shaheen Shah Afridi. File
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Shaheen Shah Afridi Opens Up On India-Pakistan 2021 T20I World Cup Game

Shaheen Shah Afridi is in the middle of a pink patch in his career. At only 21 years of age, he’s made a name for himself across formats and been recognized as the best male cricketer of 2021 by the ICC.

His match-winning spell against India in Dubai helped Pakistan beat their arch-rivals in a World Cup encounter for the first time in 13 attempts, and now the left-arm pacer is at the helm for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, becoming their youngest ever captain.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shaheen Shah Afridi On India-Pakistan 2021 T20I World Cup Match: The Players Had Belief In Each Other

In the very first over of the 2021 T20I World Cup India-Pakistan match, the left arm pacer trapped Rohit Sharma with an inswinging yorker as Rohit Sharma couldn’t bring his bat down in time and was dismissed for a golden duck. In the next over, he castled KL Rahul with a gem of an inswinger when the right-hander played all over it as it sneaked through the gap between bat and pads to shatter his off stump.

He didn’t stop there as he picked the wicket of Virat Kohli as well in his last spell. The 21-year old deceived him with a slower bouncer as he attempted a pull shot but only managed to top edge to the wicketkeeper.

Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrating one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC
Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrating one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC

“Most players were playing for the first time against India in a T20 World Cup, except Hafeez bhai and Shoaib bhai. And for us, it was an opportunity. The kind of cricket we played, we were very prepared and we had belief in each other. The captain’s role is crucial and he backed me and the team a lot.”

This terrific spell of Shaheen Afridi (3/31) restricted India to 151/7 in 20 overs.

Shaheen Shah Afridi : It Was Good Fortune That Pakistan Ended Up On The Right Side In The 2021 T20I World Cup Match Against India

In response, Pakistan chased down it comfortably as captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan scripted a historic 10-wicket win. Babar Azam scored 68 runs in 52 balls while Mohammad Rizwan played even better with a knock of 55-ball 79 runs.

“The dressing room environment was quite friendly. There was a sense that if Shaheen can’t, then Hasan Ali will… and if Hasan Ali can’t, then Haris Rauf will. We had to play our best cricket and make people happy back home. And it was good fortune that we ended up on the right side.”, Shaheen Shah Afridi said on discussion on India-Pakistan T20I World Cup 2021 Match.

Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India's score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki
Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India’s score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki

This was the first-ever victory for Pakistan against India in ODI or T20 World Cup. Pakistan won all 5 group games in the tournament though they lost the semifinal against the eventual champions Australia. Shaheen Shah Afridi also won the award of ICC Men’s Cricketer of The Year for his terrific performance in the year 2021. The left-arm pacer picked 78 wickets across formats last year.

The win against India in the 2021 T20I World Cup was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia.

The left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi broke the back of Indian batting with 3 key wickets in form of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli as he was adjudged ‘Player of The Match’ in the historic win against arch-rivals.

Kamran Akmal Photo AFP
Kamran Akmal Photo AFP
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Gautam Gambhir Is A Good Friend: Kamran Akmal Opens Up On 2010 Asia Cup Clash

Kamran Akmal, a veteran Pakistan wicketkeeper who famously clashed with ex-Indian star Gautam Gambhir during the Asia Cup in 2010, claims to have a healthy relationship with Gambhir. India had gone on to win the match by three wickets. Gautam Gambhir also top-scored for his side with a knock of 83 runs. India eventually won the trophy, defeating Sri Lanka in the final by 81 runs.

In a video shared by Legends League Cricket on their social media handles, Kamran Akmal revealed that his on-field altercation with Gautam Gambhir was due to a misunderstanding. He added that the two share a healthy relationship, having played together in a number of ‘A’ matches. Kamran Akmal also stated that there is no such rivalry with Ishant Sharma, either.

Gautam Gambhir and Kamran Akmal.(PTI)
Gautam Gambhir and Kamran Akmal.(PTI)

Kamran Akmal Admits Things Heated Up A Bit With Gautam Gambhir In 2010 Asia cup And There’s No Rivalry With Pacer Ishant Sharma Too

Ishant Sharma and Kamran Akmal were also involved in a heated debate during a T20I fixture between India and Pakistan in 2012-13 in Bangalore. However, the Pakistani gloveman clarified that he shares a good rapport with the Indian players.

Kamran said: “Things heated up a bit with Gautam Gambhir during the 2010 Asia Cup but it was all due to misunderstandings. He is a very good friend. We have played a lot of ‘A’ cricket together. There is no such rivalry with Ishant Sharma too.”

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma[Image-Twitter]
Kamran Akmal was a regular part of the Pakistan side that clashed with the Indian team on a regular basis in the first decade of the 21st century. His career witnessed several on-field bust-ups with Indian players. He also had a similar exchange with pacer Ishant Sharma in a T20 International at Bengaluru back in 2012-13.

Kamran Akmal, who featured in 53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20Is, last played for Pakistan in 2017 in the white-ball formats.

Kamran Akmal represented Pakistan in 53 Tests and 157 ODIs, registering 2,648 and 3,236 runs respectively. He also played in 58 T20Is, scoring 987 runs.

Kamran Akmal Who Played For Asia Lions In Legends Cricket League 2022 Will Ply His Trade For Peshawar Zalmi In PSL 2022

Kamran Akmal was recently seen in action in the ongoing Legends League Cricket 2022. He was part of the Asia Lions side. The 40-year-old will now ply his trade for Peshawar Zalmi in the latest edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2022).

The wicketkeeper-batter was ruled out of Peshawar Zalmi’s opening fixture of PSL 2022. The franchise’s team management recently confirmed that the keeper will now resume practice with the rest of the squad after having completed his mandatory isolation period.

Kamran Akmal is the most-capped player in PSL history Pakistan Super League
Kamran Akmal is the most-capped player in PSL history Pakistan Super League

Peshawar Zalmi is scheduled to take on Islamabad United in the fifth match of the season at the National Stadium in Karachi on Sunday, January 30. They are currently placed second in the PSL 2022 points table.

Kamran Akmal last year had withdrawn from the 2022 PSL edition after protesting his relegation to the silver category during the players draft. The second-highest run-getter in PSL history, the former Pakistan keeper had said on his YouTube channel that he didn’t want to play for Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL 7. But the Peshawar franchise ironed out the differences to avail Kamran Akmal’s services for the season.

Kamran Akmal’s PSL record carries significance as he has 1820 runs from 69 games, the run tally second only to Babar Azam’s 2070 from 58 games. The keeper has scored his runs at a strike rate of 136.84 and is the only one to have scored three hundreds.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).
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India’s Body Language Not The Same After Losing To Pakistan In 2021 T20I World Cup: Mohammed Hafeez

Mohammed Hafeez, the former Pakistan cricketer reckons that India’s body language was not the same after they lost to their arch-rivals in the T20 World Cup clash last year. The recently-retired cricketer opined, from his vast experience, that a loss in an India-Pakistan match in a World Cup dents the confidence of the losing side badly.

Pakistan defeated India for the first time in a World Cup match in any format- either ODIs or T20Is last year in Dubai. Babar Azam’s men hammered the Men in Blue by 10 wickets in the T20 World Cup group stage clash.

Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India's score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki
Pakistan Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down India’s score of 151 in 17.5 overs | Twitter | @WahabViki

Mohammed Hafeez: India’s Body Language Not The Same After Losing To Pakistan In 2021 T20I World Cup

Pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pak openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Mohammed Hafeez, who was part of Pakistan’s playing XI for the historic match, said: “The ICC usually has India vs Pakistan at the start of a World Cup for better engagement so that the event gets a boom. There is a lot of pressure on both teams and a loss in this match has a very bad impact on the team. After India lost to Pakistan this time, their body language was not the same. That is the amount of pressure players have to bear in an Indo-Pak encounter. And if you fail, things become very difficult.”

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

Pakistan sent India in to bat after winning the toss and restricted their opponents to 151 for 7. Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed both openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul cheaply to set up the victory. Mohammad Rizwan and skipper Babar Azam then smashed unbeaten half-centuries. India went down to New Zealand by eight wickets in their next encounter and eventually failed to reach the knockouts of the T20 World Cup, while Pakistan lost in the semis to eventual winners Australia.

Mohammed Hafeez Was About To Retire But Pushed Himself Just To Be Part Of The 2021 T20I World Cup Winning Squad

Ahead of the T20I World Cup, there were reports that Mohammed Hafeez was considering retirement. Admitting he had thoughts of quitting, the 41-year-old veteran all-rounder explained that the desire to be part of a World Cup-winning outfit convinced him to delay retirement.

The all-rounder revealed: “I was about to retire but I was pushing myself just to be part of the World Cup-winning squad. We were right there but unfortunately couldn’t win. It’s not like I retired because we lost the World Cup. I have always played cricket with passion and I thought this was the best time for me to leave. I wanted to make my own decision and set a precedent for coming generations that retirement can be taken happily.”

Mohammed Hafeez Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Mohammed Hafeez Image courtesy of ESPNcricinfo

Mohammed Hafeez announced his retirement from international cricket earlier this month. He represented Pakistan in 392 international matches, scoring 12,780 runs and claiming 253 wickets.

The win against India in the 2021 T20I World Cup was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia. The ICC recently announced that India will take on Pakistan in the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup.

The eighth edition of the marquee event will be played in Australia from October 16 to November 13. All eyes will be on the high-voltage clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan at the iconic MCG on October 23.

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Mohammad Rizwan Praised ‘Really Nice Guy’ Virat Kohli

Mohammad Rizwan has heaped praise on India captain Virat Kohli and called him a really nice guy. The duo met during the ICC T20 World Cup in the match between Pakistan and India, where the Men-in-Green emerged victories by 10 wickets courtesy of a 152-run opening stand between Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam.

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pak openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Mohammad Rizwan praises Virat Kohli Photo: AFP
Mohammad Rizwan praises Virat Kohli Photo: AFP

Mohammad Rizwan: Undoubtedly Virat Kohli No. 1 In The World

The win against India in the 2021 T20I World Cup was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia. The two neighbouring countries have not played bilateral cricket since January 2013 wherein Pakistan visited their neighbours wherein they played 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs. The two teams have not met in a bilateral Test series since the 2007-08 season.

“No doubt Virat Kohli is number one in the world,” Rizwan said. “When we play cricket, we are all like a family. When we took a review against Pant after he played a reverse sweep, he (Kohli) said are you trying to get all of us out in 10 overs?”

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

According to the 29-year-old, that was part of the tactic. Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets in their opening 2021 T20I World Cup fixture as the opening pair of Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan chased down 152 to break the team’s almost three-decade-long jinx in World Cups.

“When we were batting, he also said a few things. I can’t repeat the things that were said, but all I can say is that he is a really nice guy.”

Moreover, he said that the conversation the duo had after the game is personal and he hasn’t told anybody despite being asked several times.

Pakistan’s T20I World Cup Journey Ended In The Semifinal While India Eliminated From The group Stage Itself

Pakistan’s journey in the T20 World Cup came to an end in the semifinal, where Australia registered a five-wicket win and went on to win the tournament. India had an off-colour T20 World Cup, getting eliminated before making it to the semi-finals, making it the first time in eight years, and events that the team failed to make it to the knockouts of an ICC event.

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Following defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, India was always under the pump and even though they did manage to beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia in their last three games, it was not enough to see them through to the final four.

The 29-year-old Mohammad Rizwan top-scored for his side despite spending two days in a hospital intensive care unit ahead of the Australia clash due to a chest infection. Mohammad Rizwan, 29, came out of the intensive care unit of a Dubai hospital to top-score with 67 in Pakistan’s 176-4, but his efforts were in vain as eventual T20I World Cup winners Australia overhauled that total to set up a title clash with New Zealand, where the Kiwis lost.

Mohammad Rizwan became the only player to score 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year. He amassed 281 runs in the T20I World Cup 2021, averaging 70.25. Mohammad Rizwan has played 23 T20Is for Pakistan in 2021, and he has smashed 1326 runs at an average of 73.67 and a strike rate of 134.89. He has also smashed 12 half-centuries and one century during this period, with his highest career-best score being unbeaten 104.

India U19 Image: PTI
India U19 Image: PTI
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Hrishikesh Kanitkar Opens Up Ahead Of India’s U19 World Cup 2022 Campaign

Hrishikesh Kanitkar says his side would set short targets when it competes at the Under-19 World Cup, where the past Indian teams have created a rich legacy. The under-19 World Cup begins in the West Indies on Friday and India kick-off its campaign with a match against South Africa on Saturday.

ICC U19 World Cup 2022 is all set to kickstart on January 14, 2022. The venue of the tournament is West Indies. A total of 16 teams are part of it. These 16 teams are divided into 4 groups of 4 teams each. A total of 48 ODI matches will take place during ICC U19 World Cup 2022 and multiple games are scheduled to be played each day. There are 4 groups in ICC U19 World Cup 2022- A, B, C, and D.

U19 World Cup Trophy. Photo- ICC
U19 World Cup Trophy. Photo- ICC

Hrishikesh Kanitkar: One Have To Start Afresh Despite India’s History Of Winning U19 World Cup 4 Times

Bangladesh, Canada, England, and UAE are part of group A. India, Ireland, South Africa, and Uganda are part of group B. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Zimbabwe are part of group C. Australia, Scotland, Sri Lanka and West Indies are part of group D.

“There is a huge legacy since India has done so well in this tournament. It doesn’t help that we have won four times. There is a new team, so you have to start afresh,” Hrishikesh Kanitkar said during an online media interaction ahead of the marquee event.

“We don’t want to look too far ahead at things like the IPL auction and the Ranji Trophy. What we need to do is to just focus on what we can do in this tournament. We, as a coaching unit, keep them focussed on what they can do in the short term,” Hrishikesh Kanitkar added.

Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who represented India in 2 Tests and 34 ODIs in his three-year-long international career, will always be remembered for his match-winning boundary against Saqlain Mushtaq in the side’s memorable win over Pakistan at Dhaka in January 1998. India then required three runs to win from two balls, in fading light as the winning four enabled them to post a memorable victory over the arch-rivals in Dhaka, chasing a 300-plus target.

Asked about playing under difficult circumstances as players are being forced to stay in bio-bubbles, the former India cricketer said it is better to get used to it.

“Yes….it is a challenge. What we need to realize is that this is the norm now. It is better to get used to it. It is the reality now, staying in the bubble, The boys will be able to learn from this, after this World Cup also, when they need to stay in bubbles, they will be up for it,” Hrishikesh Kanitkar said.

Hrishikesh Kanitkar is remembered for his heroics in the final match of the Independence Cup against Pakistan in 1998 © Getty Images Hrishikesh Kanitkar is remembered for his heroics in the final match of the Independence Cup against Pakistan in 1998 © Twitter (Amit Verma)
Hrishikesh Kanitkar is remembered for his heroics in the final match of the Independence Cup against Pakistan in 1998 © Getty Images

The Indians head into the Under-19 World Cup with a victory in the under-19 Asia Cup and the head coach said it was of great help as the team got to play together.

“It is important because we had not played together as a team. For us, it was important in terms of team building and getting matches under our belt. It has been of great help,” Hrishikesh Kanitkar said of the win in the U-19 Asia Cup.

The coach emphasized that the team had good fast bowling all-rounders with Rajvardhan Hangargekar of Maharashtra developing well.

“It augurs well for the future. The talent is there…it is about grooming and handling them well. Rajvardhan is a really exciting prospect and bowls at a fair clip. He has a good yorker and a bouncer and he is not a bad batsman. You will find that out in the tournament. He is keen to do well for the team. These are good signs,” he said.

New Zealand decided to withdraw from the tournament owing to “extensive mandatory quarantine restrictions for minors on their return home”, because of Covid-19. Bangladesh beat India to win the Under-19 World Cup in 2020. It was their first World Cup win at any level.

India, they have won the title four times – in 2000, 2008, 2012, and 2018 – and has a win percentage of 76.83. Australia has won the tournament thrice, in 1998, 2002, and 2010, while Pakistan has clinched the title twice, in 2004 and 2006. Bangladesh (2020), South Africa (2014), West Indies (2016) and England (1998) have won the tournament once each.

Hrishikesh Kanitkar Feels Yash Dhull Can Do Justice To The Job Of Captain

Asked what went in favour of Yash Dhull that he got the captaincy, Hrishikesh Kanitkar said he had the respect of the players which was important.

“The primary quality is to have respect from the players. I think that is what he has, the respect of the team. He is able to take tough calls. Every time, especially while fielding, he can’t be told to do things, he needs to make his decisions. He is up to it. I think his instincts are tuned fine and think he can do justice to the job,” Hrishikesh Kanitkar added.

Yash Dhull Image Source: Google
Yash Dhull Image Source: Google

The Indian under-19 captain Yash Dhull, who looks up to the Indian Test skipper Virat Kohli, felt it was important to take it game by game.

“The morale in the team was good. It is important to take it game by game and see how to improve game by game. We will keep our intent and take it as it comes,” he said.

About the interactions, the team had with the legendary VVS Laxman, who heads the NCA now and India’s white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma, Dhull said, “They told us about their experiences and that will surely help us in the tournament ahead.”

The Indian under-19 skipper said the pitches in West Indies were on the slower side.

India: Yash Dhull (c), Harnoor Singh, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, SK Rasheed (vc), Nishant Sindhu, Siddarth Yadav, Aneeshwar Gautam, Dinesh Bana, Aaradhya Yadav, Raj Angad Bawa, Manav Parakh, Kaushal Tambe, RS Hangargekar, Vasu Vats, Vicky Ostwal, Ravikumar, Garv Sangwan.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. Image Credits: Twitter
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Aakash Chopra Picks 3 Defining Moments Of Indian Cricket In 2021

Aakash Chopra has picked three defining moments of Indian cricket in 2021. He shared these moments through a video on his YouTube channel.

Team India had an exceptional year in Test cricket, with the loss in the inaugural World Test Championship final to New Zealand being the only low point. Although the Men in Blue also had a decent year in the limited-overs formats, their inability to make the knockout stages of the 2021 T20I World Cup would have hurt them a lot.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Picks India’s Loss To Pakistan In The T20I World Cup 2021 As One Of Defining Moments Of 2021

While stating that he would go in reverse order, Aakash Chopra picked India’s crushing loss to Pakistan by 10 wickets in the T20I World Cup 2021 as one of the defining moments of the year. This was India’s first loss to their arch-rivals in 13 matches combined in ODI and T20I World Cups.

He said: “You might say it is slightly bittersweet or what is good in that. Not good or bad but it defines Indian cricket. Remember the World Cup game we lost to Pakistan. India was totally destroyed and Pakistan won by 10 wickets.”

The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that the camaraderie between Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the Pakistan duo of skipper Babar Azam and keeper Mohammad Rizwan deserves a lot of praise. The Pakistan opening duo was unbeaten chasing 152 odd runs to win.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “But after that, if you leave the outside noise aside, the picture that comes to mind is Babar Azam and Rizwan hugging Virat Kohli. That hug told us a lot of things. Kohli and the Indian team would have had a bigger heartbreak than us but what Virat Kohli did was magnanimous.”

Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC

Aakash Chopra chose Team India’s 151-run Test win over England at Lord’s as the second-best moment of 2021.

He observed: “My second moment is Lord’s. India played well in the first innings – Rahul scored a century and Rohit played well. There is a collapse on the second morning and Joe Root hits another century, that too 180. You conceded the first-innings lead.”

The former India opener highlighted that the Virat Kohli-led side had staged a tremendous comeback after they seemed down and out on multiple occasions during the Test. England was the favourite to win the match but India’s pace bowling duo of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah had some other plans. The duo stitched an unbeaten 89-run stand for the ninth wicket and brought India back in the game.

Aakash Chopra explained: “In the second innings, India were 55/3 at one stage and Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were playing to save their places. They have a big partnership but again you are 209/8 and then the amazing partnership between Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. After that, England were bowled out for 120 in just 51 overs.”

The win at Lord’s helped Team India take a 1-0 lead in the Pataudi Trophy. Although they lost the next Test at Headingley, they bounced back to take a 2-1 lead at the Oval, with the final Test of the five-match series to be played next year. The match was postponed as one of the Indian staff members tested Covid-19 positive.

Aakash Chopra Reckons India’s Win At Gabba Best Moment Of 2021 For India

Aakash Chopra unsurprisingly chose the historic series-clinching win at the Gabba in Australia as Team India’s best moment of 2021. Australia hadn’t lost a single Test match at this venue since 1988 but their 32-year-long unbeaten streak was brought to an end by a spirited Indian side in January this year. The series was on the line and nobody gave them a chance to create an upset, especially because they were missing several of their first-team players.

He reasoned: “At No.1, it has to be Gabba. Our bowling lineup was Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar – what was the chance of India doing well in that game? Australia scored 369 when they batted first. India conceded the lead and were only able to fight because Washi and Shardul scored 62 and 67.”

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source: AP IMAGE

The 44-year-old lauded Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Rishabh Pant for their defining roles on the final day of the Test chasing a stiff target of 328 runs to win.

Aakash Chopra elaborated: “Australia scored 294 in the second innings. You lost Rohit Sharma early on the final day but after that the counterattack. Shubman Gill hit from one end, Pujara was standing at the other end and was getting hit all over the body but when he got out it seemed the game will be stuck. But Rishabh Pant went on playing and hit the winning runs in the end. It was absolutely sensational.”

Aakash Chopra concluded by stating that the 113-run win in the recently concluded Centurion Test against South Africa should also be part of Indian cricket’s best moments of 2021.

 

Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC
Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, and Virat Kohli share a heartfelt moment after Ind vs Pak game | Photo: T20 World Cup / ICC
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Everything Pakistan Cricketers Touched, Turned Into Gold: Imad Wasim On Beating India In 2021 T20 World Cup Game

Pakistan had beaten Virat Kohli-led India by 10 wickets to begin their T20 World Cup campaign in style. 48 days after his country’s historic win at the Dubai International Stadium, all-rounder Imad Wasim opened up on what he hailed as a “perfect” win against India in the 2021 T20 World Cup group stage encounter.

The stat that made rounds on Twitter ahead of the blockbuster encounter was Pak’s inability to clinch a victory against India in World Cup meetings. And with India touted as title favourites, and Pak enduring a struggling run of form in the format, most expected the usual result to make the headline.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Pakistan’s Imad Wasim Enjoyed The Occasion And Was Grateful For The Opportunity To Represent Pakistan In A Once In A Lifetime T20I WC

But Babar Azam’s men scripted history to clinch their maiden 10-wicket win in T20Is and their maiden win in World Cups against India to make a thumping statement in their T20 World Cup opener. In a conversation, Imad Wasim was grateful for the “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity of representing his country in a match against India.

“It was really good and beating India always provides some special moments for everyone involved in Pak cricket. Of course, I enjoyed the occasion and the match, and the result was just perfect.

“There was pressure on us, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play against India in a Twenty20 World Cup and I was really grateful for that opportunity,” he said.

Imad Wasim
Imad Wasim (Image Credit: Twitter)

Imad Wasim then opined that it was a near-perfect performance, but felt that it would be impossible for the side to replicate such dominance against India in the future.

“It felt like everything we touched that day turned to gold. Make no mistake, India are a very, very good side, but we just outclassed them on the day.

“The way we played was just fantastic and I would say that it was a near-perfect performance. In fact, I would go so far as to say that what we achieved on that day will be difficult to replicate in the future,” he added.

India went on to lose their second game as well, against New Zealand before winning three in a row. But the wins weren’t enough to confirm their place in the semis. India’s arch-rivals though won all their group games and but lost to Australia in the semis.

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pak openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Imad Wasim Feels India And Pakistan Should Play Regularly Against Each Other

Imad Wasim also called for cricketing ties to resume between the two neighbouring countries, saying that India and Pakistan should play regularly against each other.

“As a player, you always want to compete at the highest level and against the best teams which is why these games are so special for us. I feel that being two world-class teams, India and Pakistan should play regularly against each other.”

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“But having said that, I also understand that there are political reasons which prevent this from happening. This is sad because sports, especially cricket, can unite nations and I do think that we should have bilateral series between the two countries. Not only will this will be good for the game of cricket, but it will also be great both for cricket and for humanity too,” he concluded.

The win against India in the 2021 T20I World Cup was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (seven in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup) dating back to 1992 in Australia.

The two neighbouring countries have not played bilateral cricket since January 2013 wherein Pakistan visited their neighbours wherein they played 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs. The two teams have not met in a bilateral Test series since the 2007-08 season.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team Image Credits: BCCI
/

Inzamam-ul-Haq Hints That Problems Between BCCI, Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli Led To India’s Early Exit From T20I World Cup

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, feels that the relations between Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri may have turned frosty ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, which resulted in India’s early exit from the ICC tournament.

The legendary former Pakistan batter reckons the announcement of Virat Kohli stepping down as India’s T20 captain after the World Cup was something the BCCI and the team could have done without.

Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File
Inzamam-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. — AP/File

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Virat Kohli’s Statement Of Leaving Captaincy After T20I WC Not Good And All Knew Ravi Shastri Was To Be Replaced By Rahul Dravid

Inzamam-ul-Haq has made a bold statement about the Indian cricket team and their performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021, which saw the Men in Blue lose to their arch-rivals for the first time ever in World Cups. The former Pakistan captain commented about India’s performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021.

“I said this even before the match, that this statement of leaving captaincy after the tournament… it is not good. You have to play a big event and this shows that there is pressure on you and you are not comfortable. They all knew that after this tournament, Shastri was to get replaced by Dravid,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said.

India's Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo
India’s Virat Kohli. Credit: Reuters Photo

Inzamam-ul-Haq weighed in further on the matter, pointing out that the news of Ravi Shastri’s impending departure and Virat Kohli stepping down as the team’s T20I captain indicated that not all was right within the Indian camp, including relations between the captain-coach duo and the BCCI.

“This should not happen before a big event. Your authority gets challenged. And this means that relations between Kohli, Shastri, and the board were not great. If India were to win the T20 World Cup, would they have removed the captain and coach? There was some problem between them,” said the former Pakistan batter Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets as the opening pair of Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan chased down 152 to break the team’s almost three-decade-long jinx in World Cups.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Pakistan Always Have A Good Pace Attack And Every Team Is A Little Apprehensive Facing Pakistan

Inzamam-ul-Haq spoke about Shaheen Shah Afridi’s destructive spell against India, which saw him return 3/31, including the wickets of openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma and later captain Virat Kohli. Lauding Pakistan’s pace battery comprising of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf in T20I WC 2021, Inzamam-ul-Haq said the country’s pacers are of the quality that they can dismantle any batting unit in the world.

“Our fast bowlers always stamp their authority on India. We have always had a good pace battery. Every team is a little apprehensive about facing Pakistan’s bowling,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrating one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC
Virat Kohli played a 57-run knock while Shaheen Afridi celebrated one of his three wickets | Photo: ICC

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

In the next match, India managed only 110 for seven batting first against New Zealand. They lost the game by eight wickets, which pretty much sealed their fate in the T20 World Cup 2021.

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
/

Inzamam-ul-Haq Feels Indian Team Was Scared Even Before The India-Pakistan 2021 T20I World Cup Match Started

Inzamam-Ul-Haq has made a bold statement about the Indian cricket team and their performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021, which saw the Men in Blue lose to their arch-rivals for the first time ever in World Cups. The former Pakistan captain commented about India’s performance against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup 2021.

Pakistan hammered India by 10 wickets as the opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan chased down 152 to break the team’s almost three-decade-long jinx in World Cups.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq Feels Indian Team Was Scared Even Before The Match Started

Plenty has been said and written about India’s indifferent outing at the Dubai international stadium, with Inzamam-ul-Haq claiming that Virat Kohli’s unit was scared to fight even before the World Cup match even began.

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

“I feel the Indians were scared even before the match started. Their body language, if you see Virat Kohli and Babar Azam’s interview at the toss, you could sense who was under pressure. Our team’s body language was much better than theirs. It wasn’t that India were under pressure after Rohit Sharma’s dismissal. Sharma himself was under pressure. It was evident that they all were under pressure,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan steered Pakistan to a 10-wicket victory against India (PTI).

India had an off-colour T20 World Cup, getting eliminated before making it to the semi-finals, making it the first time in eight years, and events that the team failed to make it to the knockouts of an ICC event. Following defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand, India was always under the pump and even though they did manage to beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia in their last three games, it was not enough to see them through to the final four.

Inzamam-ul-Haq Feels India Was Surmounted On A Lot Of Pressure After Losing To Pakistan So That They Lost To New Zealand Too

Inzamam-ul-Haq feels the pressure coped by the Indian team after the Pakistan defeat was so much that the team failed to recover from the beating, in turn affecting their T20 World Cup campaign.

“Indian team never plays the way they did. They are a good T20 team, there is no doubt about it. If you look at their performance in the last 2-3 years, they were the favourites. But that India-Pakistan match put so much pressure on them that there was no looking back,” added Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Ishan Kishan and Virat Kohli failed against New Zealand (Reuters Photo)
Ishan Kishan and Virat Kohli failed against New Zealand (Reuters Photo)

“Their feet weren’t moving at all. After losing to Pakistan, they were handed so much criticism and there was a 3-4 day break. The poor guys couldn’t even play Santner and Sodhi. They are such good players of spin. That pressure mounted on them,” added Inzamam-ul-Haq.

India managed only 110 for 7 batting first against New Zealand. They lost the game by eight wickets, which pretty much sealed their fate in the T20 World Cup 2021. The make-shift opening pair of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan managed to add only 11 runs, with Ishan Kishan scoring four off eight balls. New Zealand chased down the score in just 14.3 overs, handing India a massive defeat.

The Indian batsmen Ishan Kishan (4 off 8 balls), Rohit Sharma (14 off 14 balls), KL Rahul (18 off 16), Virat Kohli (9 off 17), Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) failed when it mattered most against New Zealand, losing the second successive match after the one against Pakistan where Rohit Sharma (0) and KL Rahul (3) failed as openers.

India vs Pakistan cricket matches remain the biggest revenue generating fixtures for the ICC. | File Photo
India vs Pakistan cricket matches remain the biggest revenue generating fixtures for the ICC. | File Photo
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T20 World Cup 2021 Garnered A Record Viewership Of 167 Million

The T20I World Cup 2021 in the UAE garnered a record viewership of 167 million as nearly 10,000 hours of live coverage was offered across TV and digital platforms in as many as 200 countries. The International Cricket Council on Thursday revealed that India and Pakistan in the T20I World Cup 2021 Super 12 match in Dubai set a new record for the most views with 15.9 billion minutes in India alone, despite Pakistan winning by 10 wickets.

The match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan proved to be a one-sided affair but that didn’t deter the fans from it as they consumed 15.9 billion minutes on the Star India Network, surpassing the previous high of the India vs West Indies semi-final match from the 2016 edition of the ICC event held in India, the game’s governing body said.

 Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets in Dubai to open their Super 12 campaign with a bang in the T20 World Cup 2021 (AFP Photo)
Pakistan thrashed India by 10 wickets in Dubai to open their Super 12 campaign with a bang in the T20 World Cup 2021 (AFP Photo)

The T20I World Cup 2021 Overall TV Consumption In India Was Recorded At 112 Billion Minutes Despite India’s Early Exit

The overall TV consumption for the entire tournament in India was recorded at 112 billion minutes, despite India’s early exit from the tournament. Digital consumption for the tournament saw explosive growth on Disney+ Hotstar in India, adding significantly to the overall television viewership in the market.

 

“We are pleased with these outstanding global viewership numbers(in the T20I World Cup 2021), that demonstrate the power of T20I cricket to attract a huge audience across the globe on linear and digital platforms,” ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said in a release.

Australian Geoff Allardice has been appointed as permanent CEO of the International Cricket Council after serving the role on an interim basis for more than eight months, the game’s governing body announced a few days ago. Geoff Allardice thus replaced Manu Sawhney, who had resigned from his position in July.

Geoff Allardice-Getty Images
Geoff Allardice-Getty Images

“It reinforces our belief that there is a significant opportunity and appetite to grow the game in our strategic growth markets including the USA, so more fans can enjoy it, more kids are inspired by it and sponsors and broadcasters want to be a part of it.”

In the UK, viewership for the India-Pakistan match in the T20I World Cup 2021 grew by 60 per cent on Sky UK whereas the overall viewership for the market went up by 7 per cent. In Pakistan, the T20I World Cup 2021 was being broadcast by three players(digital channels) for the first time namely PTV, ARY, and Ten Sports, which led to further growth in viewership by 7.3 per cent compared to the 2016 edition of the event.

In 2021 T20I World Cup winners Australia, the viewership increased by 175 per cent on the Fox Network. In the USA, which the ICC recently named as one of the focus markets for the sport, the tournament was the most viewed cricket tournament ever on ESPN+.

The T20I World Cup 2021 Total Video Views Recorded  Was 4.3 Billon Compared To 3.6 Billion In 2019 ODI World Cup

The ICC’s partnership with Facebook was a driver for the significant increase in video views in the recently concluded T20I World Cup 2021, with a total of 4.3 billion views across all channels for the tournament, compared to 3.6 billion views which were garnered for the 2019 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

Eoin Morgan of England celebrates with his team as he lifts the Cricket World Cup trophy after the Final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and England at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Eoin Morgan of England celebrates with his team as he lifts the Cricket World Cup trophy after the Final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between New Zealand and England at Lord’s Cricket Ground on July 14, 2019, in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The consumption across digital assets also grew, recording a total of 2.55 billion minutes. ICC’s social media channels also saw significant growth in the T20I World Cup 2021 at 618 million across those platforms, which is a 28 per cent jump since the 2019 edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, which was won by England dramatically.

 

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