Inzamam-ul-Haq

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Lauds India’s Depth After Hosts Beat Proteas In The 3rd T20I

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain believes India is doing an exemplary job despite the absence of some senior players in their home series against South Africa.

The Men In Blue recorded a 48-run win over the Proteas in Vishakapatnam yesterday (June 14) to remain alive in the five-match T20I series. Following a hectic IPL 2022 season and a crucial away tour of England coming up, the selection committee named a second-string squad for the ongoing series. The likes of batters Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and pacers Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami were rested.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Photo: ICC)

Inzamam-ul-Haq Feels Pressure Is Now On South Africa

Furthermore, stand-in captain KL Rahul was ruled out due to an injury right before the series, which resulted in Rishabh Pant being named as the captain.

Opining that the pressure will be on South Africa for the remaining matches, Inzamam-ul-Haq said on his YouTube channel: “India are still alive in the series now. The pressure now on South Africa, because India will not lose so easily at home.

“The second-string squad should be appreciated because they are fighting back without Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, these are three important figures in the batting department.”

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma---Image: Twitter
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma—Image: Twitter

Trailing 2-1 against South Africa, the Rishabh Pant-led side will have to win both their remaining matches to secure a series win in the buildup to the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Inzamam-ul-Haq Reckons 2nd String Indian Team Are Putting Up A Fight

Aiming for a fourth straight T20I series win, head coach Rahul Dravid is facing his toughest challenge at home. The Men In Blue missed out on the opportunity to become the first-ever team to record 13 consecutive wins in the shortest format following their defeat in the first T20I.

Noting that head coach Rahul Dravid is working the same magic that he did during his stint as the U-19 coach, Inzamam-ul-Haq said: “If you play like how [Ishan] Kishan and [Ruturaj] Gaikwad did, the morale of the team goes up. This shows India’s depth.

“The second-string team are putting up a fight and it is great to see that. Dravid already has experience working with the U-19 team and he is applying the same here as well.”

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

To stay alive in the five-match T20I series, Rishabh Pant’s side needed its players to stand up and deliver in the 3rd T20I, and Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Harshal Patel accomplished exactly that. With half-centuries, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan put up 97, India’s biggest opening stand against South Africa in T20Is. Yuzvendra Chahal picked 3 scalps and Harshal Patel picked 4 wickets to give India a comfortable victory.

Rishabh Pant-led India will face South Africa in the fourth T20I of the five-match series on June 17 (Friday) in Rajkot. The 5th and final T20I will be at Bengaluru on June 19 (Sunday).

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)
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Pak vs Aus, 2nd Test: Salman Butt Lashes Out Over The Slow And Low Karachi Surface

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain recalled Irfan Pathan’s hat-trick in Karachi as he lashed out over the slow and low surface in the 2nd Test between Pakistan and Australia.

The criticism of pitch condition in Rawalpindi headlined throughout the entire five days of the first Test between Pakistan and Australia last week. The Test ended in a dull draw with only 14 wickets falling in the entire game, and many former Pakistan cricketers including ex-captains Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, and Salman Butt criticizing the surface throughout the game.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Salman Butt Reckons Assistance To Pacers Must Have Been Provided In Karachi Test

Many hoped for the surface to improve in the second Test in Karachi, but the action on Day 1 saw a slow and low surface at the National Stadium as Australia ended the play at 251/3 in 90 overs. Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, once again expressing his disappointment at the surface, said that some assistance to fast bowlers must have been provided.

“If I have Shaheen, Hasan, Naseem Shah, I will provide something in the pitch for them. I don’t have Yasir Shah so I cannot play the leg-spinner and when I say this, I’m also saying that we don’t have spinners on whom we can rely to win matches. I can’t prepare a track that assists spin. So, give something to fast bowlers instead,” Butt said on his official YouTube channel.

Usman Khawaja.
Usman Khawaja. Getty Images.

Australia were a commanding 332 for 4 at lunch on Day 2 with Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja 155 not out. Usman Khawaja’s 339-ball innings threatens to break the back of Pakistan, who appeared bereft of ideas and are on the brink of being shut out of this pivotal match after the first Test in Rawalpindi ended in a stale draw.

Usman Khawaja notched his 150 off 322 balls and is poised to surpass his highest Test score of 174 against New Zealand at the Gabba in 2015. For Pakistan, Hasan Ali took a wicket and Faheem Ashraf have taken two scalps.

Salman Butt Recalled Irfan Pathan’s Hat-trick In Seaming Pitch In Karachi During India’s Pakistan Tour In 2006

Salman Butt, further recalling his playing days, said that he doesn’t remember such slow surfaces in Pakistan. The former Pakistan skipper also cited examples of India’s tour of Pakistan in 2006.

“I don’t remember such slow and low pitches during my playing days. It isn’t as if we didn’t play draw Tests. But in Karachi, Irfan Pathan had taken a hat-trick, it was very lively, brilliant seaming pitch. India won in Rawalpindi, again, a very seaming pitch,” Butt recalled.

“The point is, we used to play cricket at a good pace at that time. We never saw such low and slow wickets in Pakistan. And such pitches are coming at a time when everyone wants pace and bounce, aggression from fast bowlers.

“People keep talking about 140 kph fast bowlers and batters who can hit at 140 strike rate day and night. Ironically, both aren’t happening at the moment. And in this condition, it isn’t possible,” Butt further added.

Former Indian left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan achieved a phenomenal feat on the first day of the third Test match between India and Pakistan on 29 January 2006. The match which was held in Karachi, etched Irfan Pathan’s name in the record books for being the second Indian to take a Test hat-trick and only the first to do so in the first over of a Test match.

Irfan Pathan claimed a hat-trick against Pakistan in Karachi in 2006(ICC/Twitter)
Irfan Pathan claimed a hat-trick against Pakistan in Karachi in 2006(ICC/Twitter)

Irfan Pathan’s first three deliveries were dot balls. In the fourth delivery, the left-arm pacer swung the ball and it moved slightly away from Salman Butt, finding the outside edge of his bat.

Irfan Pathan dished out an in-swinging ball for the next right-hander batter Younis Khan. He tried to play across the line and paid the price. The batter was rapped on the pads and the umpire had no hesitation in giving him out.

One of Pakistan’s best batter at that time, Mohammad Yousuf walked in next to face Irfan Pathan, who was totally on fire that day.

Irfan Pathan came up with perhaps his best delivery that day which swung late and it went through the right-hander’s bat and pad. The ball cannoned into the stumps of the batter and he was bowled.

Rashid Latif Screengrab: YouTube
Rashid Latif Screengrab: YouTube
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Rashid Latif Reckons Pakistan Are Playing Test Series Against Australia To Market Themselves

Rashid Latif said that Pakistan had a good opportunity to ‘market’ themselves in the first Test against Australia. Pakistan played out a dull draw against Australia in the first Test in Rawalpindi.

The condition of the pitch came under the scanner with many former Pakistan cricketers criticizing the lifeless surface at Rawalpindi, which saw only 14 wickets falling through the course of five days. Former captains Shahid Afridi and Salman Butt also criticized the Pakistan side’s intent, while legendary former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq hoped for better surfaces in the remaining two games of the series.

Pakistan vs Australia
Pakistan vs Australia Image Credits: Twitter

Rashid Latif Reckons Pakistan Are Playing The Series To Market Themselves But ‘Rawalpindi Pitch’ Harmed Cricket

On his official YouTube channel, former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Rashid Latif also talked about the match in detail and insisted that Pakistan are not doing a good job in marketing their cricket.

“This series is different. This is not a series that we’re playing for winning. This is a series we are playing to market ourselves. Even if it goes 3-0, I would want that a 100 product is marketed as 150 product. But in the Rawalpindi Test, we sold a 100 product for 5, and it harmed our cricket,” Rashid Latif said.

Rashid Latif file image. (Photo: IANS)
Rashid Latif file image. (Photo: IANS)

Rashid Latif further pointed out that Australia had sent their no.1 team to Pakistan in a tour that is happening for the first time in 24 years, and Pakistan need to capitalize on the opportunity.

“Australia sent their no.1 team after 24 years, they’re coming straight after beating England 4-0. Their batters are in their top-10 in the rankings, so are their bowlers. We would’ve wanted to play good cricket, winning or losing is a different thing. We would’ve wanted to attract people around the world,” said the former Pakistan cricketer Rashid Latif.

“India, for example, are known for their turning pitches and many label them as lions at their own home. Sri Lankan pitches still support both batters and bowlers. We had a good opportunity with the pitch in Pindi. It is a brilliant pitch, it assists seam and there’s enough for batters as well,” said the former Pakistan cricketer Rashid Latif.

The first Test between Pakistan and Australia ended in a dull draw in Rawalpindi. Pakistan, batting first, declared their first innings on 476/4 before bowling the visitors out on 459. However, there wasn’t much time left in the game to induce a result after the Australian innings ended. The Pakistan openers, both of whom were unbeaten, batted the entire fifth day to ensure a draw.

Nauman Ali Took 6 Scalps While Imam-ul-Haq Scored Tons In Both Innings

Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali took a career-best 6-107 on the grassless pitch to give Pakistan a 17-run first-innings lead. Imam-ul-Haq followed his 157 in the first innings total of 476-4 declared with an unbeaten 111 in his first test since November 2019.

Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP
Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP

Imam-ul-Haq’s opening partner, Abdullah Shafique, also prospered to record his maiden test hundred and was unbeaten on 136 when Pakistan finished the fifth and final day on 252-0 in its second innings, leading by 269 runs.

A combined total of 1,187 runs were scored for just 14 wickets as the famed Australian pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood – with 674 Test wickets between them before this match – got just one more.

Pakistan 476 for 4 dec (Azhar 185, Imam 157, Shafique 44, Cummins 1-62, Lyon 1-161) and 252 for 0 (Shafique 136*, Imam 111*) drew with Australia 459 (Khawaja 97, Labuschagne 90, Smith 78, Nauman 6-107)

In the 2nd Test, Australia have scored more than 150 losing 2 wickets. Usman Khawaja has scored an unbeaten fifty while Marnus Labuschagne was run out without opening his account. Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith have steadied Australia’s ship against Pakistan on Day 1 of the ongoing second Test at the National Stadium in Karachi.

David Warner missed out on his fifty while Marnus Labuschagne was run-out on a duck. Earlier, Australia won the toss and elected to bat first.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)
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Salman Butt Reckons Rawalpindi Is A Result Oriented Pitch After 1st Test Ended In A Dull Draw

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain didn’t mince his words as he criticized the Pakistan Cricket Board over the pitch in Rawalpindi. In a strong-worded criticism of the pitch conditions, Salman Butt said that Rawalpindi is a “result-oriented pitch.”

The first Test between Pakistan and Australia ended in a dull draw in Rawalpindi. Pakistan, batting first, declared their first innings on 476/4 before bowling the visitors out on 459. However, there wasn’t much time left in the game to induce a result after the Australian innings ended. The Pakistan openers, both of whom were unbeaten, batted the entire fifth day to ensure a draw.

Pakistan's Imam-ul-Haq (L) shakes hands with Australia's captain Pat Cummins after a draw in the first Test cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on March 8, 2022. | AFP
Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq (L) shakes hands with Australia’s captain Pat Cummins after a draw in the first Test cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on March 8, 2022. | AFP

Salman Butt Reckons 1st Test At Rawalpindi Was Treated Like A Practice Game

Throughout the course of the first Test at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, the condition of the pitch came under a significant scanner. Deemed a lifeless pitch by many fans and experts alike, the first Test saw only 14 wickets falling with Australia taking only four.

Many players including former Pakistan captains Inzamam-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi have called for sporting pitches in the remaining two games of the series in Karachi and Lahore, and another former skipper Salman Butt has now joined the debate.

Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP
Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP

“Against South Africa, Hasan Ali performed brilliantly (five-wicket hauls in both innings) in Rawalpindi. Was that stadium somewhere else? So I don’t understand who is passing what information. Anyone who opens the stat will find out the truth,” said Butt on his official YouTube channel.

“Pindi is a result-oriented pitch. In first-class matches, people complain that matches end here in 2.5 days.”

Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali took a career-best 6-107 on the grassless pitch to give Pakistan a 17-run first-innings lead. Imam-ul-Haq followed his 157 in the first innings total of 476-4 declared with an unbeaten 111 in his first test since November 2019.

Further criticising the pitch, Salman Butt said that the people at the helm of cricket in Pakistan need to be braver.

“Please tell me what’s wrong with Pakistan pitches. Pitches aren’t bad, it’s the brains that are rotten. The people who are at the helm of cricketing affairs.. it’s their weakness in underestimating themselves that we cannot play. Imam is in the team since 2019. It’s 2022 now. You don’t have confidence in him?” said Butt.

“Apart from him, Abdullah Shafique is coming into the team after scoring runs against Bangladesh and the PSL. This game was treated as a practice game.”

Imam-ul-Haq’s opening partner, Abdullah Shafique, also prospered to record his maiden test hundred and was unbeaten on 136 when Pakistan finished the fifth and final day on 252-0 in its second innings, leading by 269 runs.

Salman Butt Insisted To Make Aggressive Pitches

The former Pakistan captain insisted that in the remaining two games, the pitches need to be more sporting.

“I think this is not the right approach. I read somewhere that commentators were requested to not talk about the pitch. I read this on Twitter. I hope that isn’t the case,” said Butt.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

“You make spinning pitches. You make pitches that assist reverse swing. Make aggressive surfaces. On this surface, there was nothing for anyone.”

A combined total of 1,187 runs were scored for just 14 wickets over five days as the famed Australian pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood – with 674 Test wickets between them before this match – got just one more.

Pakistan 476 for 4 dec (Azhar 185, Imam 157, Shafique 44, Cummins 1-62, Lyon 1-161) and 252 for 0 (Shafique 136*, Imam 111*) drew with Australia 459 (Khawaja 97, Labuschagne 90, Smith 78, Nauman 6-107)

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team Image Credits: BCCI
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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
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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.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Slams Bangladesh For Its Unsuccessful Overseas Record

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistani skipper, has come down hard on the Bangladesh cricket team over their unsuccessful results away from home.

The 51-year old has opined that Bangladesh’s away performances are still similar to what they used to be 15 years ago. Inzamam-ul-Haq feels Bangladesh has harmed its own chances of competing abroad by making slow pitches in its own turf in Bangladesh.

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

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Bangladesh’s Away Performances Are Like 15 Years Back

Following Pakistan’s win against Bangladesh in the first T20I, he posted a video on his official YouTube channel, ‘Inzamam-ul-Haq The Match Winner’.  In his video, Inzamam-ul-Haq slammed Bangladesh and lamented that they haven’t learned much from their poor T20 World Cup 2021 campaign. He feels that apart from winning an odd ODI away from home, the Bangladeshi team has not done well on foreign turf.

“I thought Bangladesh would’ve learnt something from their poor World Cup performances. That maybe they will make better pitches or play better cricket. They’ve been playing cricket for the last 15-20 years and their away performances are just like it used to be 15 years back. It’s like winning an odd ODI once in a blue moon and nothing else,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Bangladesh shocked the cricketing world by defeating Australia 4-1 and New Zealand 3-2 prior to the 2021 T20I World Cup, but it came on their own turf, but overseas, they have only beaten minnows Zimbabwe, Ireland, and inconsistent West Indies in the T20I bilateral series.

Bangladesh (AFP Photo)
Bangladesh (AFP Photo)

The Tigers were one of the poorest teams during the recent T20 World Cup in the UAE, losing all their matches in the Super 12s. Low bounce and sluggish surfaces have become synonymous with Bangladeshi pitches. Teams like Australia and New Zealand have found it extremely difficult to survive on these kinds of surfaces.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: As Soon As Bangladesh Plays Outside They Seem Desolated

In his review, the former Pakistani cricketer pointed out that they seem’ desolated’ whenever Bangladesh plays outside their country. He added that by making ‘pathetic pitches’, they are preventing the development of their own cricketers.

Inzamam-ul-Haq said: “It was a typical match (1st T20I between Bangladesh and Pakistan) in Bangladeshi conditions. We’ve seen this over the years. Teams like Australia and other found it extremely difficult to win in Bangladesh. But as soon as Bangladesh plays outside of their country, they seem desolated.”

“They were nowhere to be seen in the recent World Cup. And this is because they make absolutely pathetic pitches in their country. They don’t even give their players a chance to groom and feel satisfied just by winning matches in Bangladesh. I’m extremely disappointed to see this,” Inzamam concluded.

After winning the first T20I by four wickets, Pakistan will look to clinch the series when the two teams meet in Dhaka for the second T20I later today (November 20).

Bangladesh will have a lot to ponder about after the loss in the first game but do not have too much time as they face Pakistan less than 24 hours after the first game. With several new faces in the squad after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Bangladesh put up a tremendous fight but will be ruing the missed opportunity, having had Pakistan’s backs against the walls at 24/4 chasing 128.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images

Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan, and Mahedi Hasan were the only three batters to reach double figures, with the latter two providing some late impetus to put a target of 128 for Pakistan to chase down. Hasan Ali put the disappointing World Cup semi-final showing behind him and returned with figures of 3/22 in four overs.

Like Bangladesh, Pakistan too faltered early, losing four wickets in the fielding restrictions. However, Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah, who scored 34 each, strung together a game-changing 56-run partnership before Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz put on a show for the crowd in Dhaka with an unbeaten 36-run stand in just 15 balls to take Pakistan home and give them a 1-0 series lead.

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad once again chose to bat first after winning the toss against Pakistan, in the second T20I in Dhaka. The home side didn’t make any changes, while Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi replaced Hasan Ali.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Since The World Cup Rishabh Pant Hasn’t Lived Up To My Expectations, Says Inzamam-ul-Haq

Rishabh Pant has been slightly off-colour for India since the T20 World Cup, an observation that was made by former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq. The legendary ex batter, who has been highly vocal with his laurels for Rishabh Pant, feels the 23-year-old batter has fallen a bit off the radar.

India brushed off the disappointment of the T20I World Cup with a win over New Zealand in the first T20I on Wednesday in Jaipur. However, the victory wasn’t as easy as it seemed at one stage. Chasing 165 to win, India was in firm control until the 15-over mark and appeared to be cruising towards the target before a tight squeeze applied by New Zealand in the last five overs made the chase tricky.

Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)
Rishabh Pant (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)

Rishabh Pant Hasn’t Lived Up To Inzamam-ul-Haq’s Expectations

With wickets of a set Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer falling in quick succession, India was left to get 10 off the last over when a boundary each from Venkatesh Iyer and Rishabh Pant sealed the game. But one can’t help but feel that with Rishabh Pant around, the team should have closed out the game sooner. But, instead, Rishabh Pant scored an unbeaten 17 off as many balls, including 2 boundaries.

“I had a lot of expectations from Rishabh Pant. The way he has performed in the last two years, I rated him highly. I saw him play in Australia, then against England when they toured India earlier this year.

“The conditions he played in. I thought that like MS Dhoni, when the top order fails, he makes up for it at the bottom. I felt that Pant is that sort of player. But since the World Cup, he hasn’t lived up to my expectations,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said on his YouTube channel.

Rishabh Pant scored 39, 12, and unbeaten 27 in 3 innings in India’s disastrous campaign in T20I World Cup 2021, where they were ousted from the group stage after losing to Pakistan and New Zealand.

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

Suryakumar Yadav top-scored for India while batting at the Number 3 spot in the absence of former T20I skipper Virat Kohli. Suryakumar Yadav scored 62 runs in 40 balls and added 59 runs with skipper Rohit Sharma for the second wicket. However, Rohit Sharma fell two-run short of his 25th fifty in the format. The India skipper also added 50 runs with KL Rahul for the first wicket that set the early tone for Team India in the chase of 165 runs.

Rishabh Pant Appeared Under Pressure But Is A Treat To Watch: Inzamam-ul-Haq

Inzamam-ul-Haq pointed out how Rishabh Pant’s USP has always been not to get bogged down under pressure, which is why it is a tad strange to see the batter struggle to get going. But, having said that, Inzamam-ul-Haq is confident that it is only a matter of time before the world gets to see Rishabh Pant back at his swashbuckling best.

“He appeared under pressure. Earlier as well, he has been under pressure, but he always used to hit his way out of it. So lately, he hasn’t lived up to my expectations. He scored 17 off 17 but having said that, he is a treat to watch. He must have realized it and I’m certain he will improve his game,” added Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

There had been the fifties for Mark Chapman, Martin Guptill, and Suryakumar Yadav, and a 48 from Rohit Sharma full of vintage strokeplay, as well as terrific bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Mitchell Santner, but the end result came down to the bit-part players. Trent Boult also picked 2 scalps.

Martin Guptill top-scored for New Zealand with his impressive 70 off just 42 balls in Jaipur. Martin Guptill and Mark Chapman added 109 runs for the second wicket before the latter was dismissed for 63 by Ravichandran Ashwin.

India 166 for 5 (Suryakumar 62, Rohit 48, Boult 2-31) beat New Zealand 164 for 6 (Guptill 70, Chapman 63, Ashwin 2-23, Bhuvneshwar 2-24) by five wickets

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Shocked By India’s Batting Show Against New Zealand

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, expressed his surprise over India’s lacklustre performance against New Zealand yesterday (October 31). The Men In Blue’s misery against the Blackcaps in ICC events prolonged last night. Their chances of making it into the semifinals of the ongoing T20I World Cup took a serious hit with a heavy 8-wicket loss in Dubai.

Inzamam-ul-Haq claimed that the contest between India and New Zealand was one of the biggest ones in the tournament. However, he failed to understand how India stitched together such a poor performance right from the word go.

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

Inzamam-ul-Haq Shocked By The Demoralized Manner In Which India Played

The much-valued Indian batting lineup failed to accelerate the run rate and kept on losing regular wickets, managing only 110 in the stipulated 20 overs. India was never in the contest, with the new-look top-order in the absence of Suryakumar Yadav struggling in the powerplay and subsequent wickets falling at regular intervals.

New Zealand made easy work of the paltry 111 run target with more than 5 overs to spare as Daryl Mitchell’s 49 and Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 33 steered the Kiwis home.

While speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam said: “This match was the biggest one after India and Pakistan. Even bigger than Australia vs England. I’m shocked by the manner in which India played. They were absolutely demoralized. I could not understand how such a big team took so much pressure.”

 

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

While he played his first 2021 T20I World Cup match, Ishan Kishan opened the batting along with KL Rahul while Rohit Sharma dropped to No. 3, but that move didn’t work. Ishan Kishan scored just 4 runs from 8 balls, while Rohit Sharma made 14 from as many balls in India’s below-par total of 110 for 7 in 20 overs.

Ravindra Jadeja top-scored with 26 not out off 19 balls, while Hardik Pandya made 23 off 24 balls while the rest batsmen all failed to fire. The Indian top-order and experienced batsmen KL Rahul (18 off 16), Virat Kohli (9 off 17), Rishabh Pant (12 off 19) failed when it mattered most.

Inzamam-ul-Haq : NZ Spinners Are Not World Class

Inzamam-ul-Haq failed to understand how the Indians were not able to score more runs off the two Kiwi spinners. Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi ran a tight ship and claimed combined figures of 8-0-32-2. The leg-spinner was awarded man of the match for his display that included the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. The latter scored only 9 off 17 balls before losing his wicket to Ish Sodhi. Trent Boult also returned with figures of 3/20.

Inzamam-ul-Haq added: “These NZ spinners are good, but not world-class. The Indian batsmen were not even able to score singles off them. Kohli’s strength is playing spin and even he was not able to get a single.”

Ish Sodhi
Ish Sodhi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India managed 110 for 7 in 20 overs, in which they didn’t effectively score runs in nine of those overs (54 dot balls). Worse, they were just able to hit a single boundary between overs 8 and 15 when two spinners, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner, were in operation.

The Indian batsmen never got the scoreboard ticking. Boundaries and strike rotations were hard to come by in the middle overs, leaving India in a tough spot. India needs to win all of their remaining fixtures and hopes for a few other fixtures to go their way to secure a spot in the semifinals of the T20 World Cup 2021.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP
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Rohit Sharma Gets More Love In Pakistan Than Virat Kohli: Shoaib Akhtar

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are two of the most popular Indian batters in international cricket. However, Shoaib Akhtar feels Rohit Sharma gets more love in Pakistan in comparison to Virat Kohli.

India and Pakistan might not be playing against each other as often as they used to in the 1990s and 2000s, but the contest still holds a special place in the hearts of cricket lovers. With the two sides set to open their campaign at the T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday, 24th October, former cricketers from both nations have been sharing their own experience of this iconic contest.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma- Twitter

Rohit Sharma Called India’s Inzamam-ul-Haq In Pakistan: Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar, who remains an active cricket pundit who expresses views not just on Pakistan cricket but also other global series and events. Reflecting on the India-Pakistan clash, Shoaib Akhtar highlighted how much Indian cricketers are loved in Pakistan, especially Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Rohit Sharma has 2864 T20I runs in 111 matches averaging 32.54, and is 3rd behind teammate Virat Kohli and Martin Guptill of New Zealand. Virat Kohli tops the list with 3159 T20I runs in 90 matches averaging 52.65. In ODIs, Rohit Sharma is the only batsman to score 3 double tons, and his career-best 264 remains the highest individual score in ODIs.

“In Pakistan, people like and appreciate Indian cricketers. They praise Virat Kohli, they like Rohit Sharma even more. They call him India’s Inzamam,” the Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar said.

Shoaib Akhtar. (AFP Photo)
Shoaib Akhtar. (AFP Photo)

India-Pakistan faced each other last in the 2019 ODI World Cup round-robin stage, where the former won by 89 runs (DLS method). Their last T20 World Cup face-off resulted in India’s 6-wicket win over Men in Green in Kolkata in the 2016 edition.

However, due to the unfortunate political situation, the two teams haven’t played a bilateral series since 2012-13. Pakistan and India’s last bilateral ties at either of the two neighbouring countries were 2 T20Is and 3 ODIs in India way back in 2012.

Shoaib Akhtar Expects India – Pakistan Would Be A 50- 50 Game As Things Can Turn Out To Be Different With Courage And Right Strategy

Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif, who was also a part of the conversation, picked the Indian team as the favourites for the Super 12 match against Pakistan.

Mohammad Kaif feels the fact that since all of the 2021 T20I World Cup-bound Indian players played for in the UAE with their respective IPL 2021 franchises, it will boost their hopes of going all the way in the tournament as Pakistan players won’t feature in IPL and the WC is in the same country where the last half of IPL 2021 was being played.

“Historically, India has always won these (World Cup) matches. But it depends on how the players perform on match day. The Indian side has an advantage that they just played the IPL in UAE and are accustomed to the conditions. Players are also in form.

“It would be a shocker if Pakistan wins. Of course, anything can happen in T20, but on paper, India appears to be a much stronger team,” said Kaif.

Mohammad Kaif (Photo: PTI)
Mohammad Kaif (Photo: PTI)

Countering Mohammad Kaif’s take on the subject, Shoaib Akhtar said that the team that shows more courage will emerge as triumphant.

“Big matches are not won by big players but by big courage. No doubt, India has better players, but with courage and right strategy things could turn out to be different than expected. Also, T20 is a tricky format. It’s going to be a 50-50 game. It will depend on how the players perform on the given day,” he opined.

From the group games, only 2 of 6 teams will qualify for the T20 World Cup semi-finals. Hence, the India-Pakistan contest that kicks off the proceedings in Group 2, will be of huge importance for both the teams’ hopes of qualifying for the knockout. It’s worth noting that Pakistan is yet to beat their arch-rivals India in a World Cup game in 12 encounters across the T20I and 50-over editions.

India won the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. In that edition, India got the better of Pakistan twice, including the thriller final match in Johannesburg, where they defeated Shoaib Malik and his men by five runs. In the next 2009 T20I World Cup final against Sri Lanka, Pakistan sailed home by eight wickets with eight balls to spare in a run-chase sketched to perfection.

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