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Rishabh Pant

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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Pakistan Prepared Well And Kept Losing History Out of Mind: Babar Azam

Babar Azam has opened up on his country’s first win over India in any World Cup game as they trumped arch-rivals by ten wickets in a much-anticipated clash in Dubai.

The skipper along with Mohammad Rizwan batted India out of the game, resorting to restrain yet assertive batting.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP via Getty Images)

Babar Azam: Pakistan Kept World Cup History Out Of Their Mind

Babar Azam stroked his way to 68 while his opening partner, Mohammad Rizwan, smashed 79 as the Indian bowlers struggled to contain the two batters Earlier, Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India recover from a disastrous start and post 151/7 against Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup match on Sunday.

“We, the openers, kept it simple and built a partnership, and because the wicket was getting better so we just wanted to keep batting till the end, which we did. It won’t get easier just because we beat India. We will take the confidence, but we’re taking it one match at a time, and there’s a long way to go in the tournament,” Babar Azam said in the post-match presentation.

He added that the Pakistan team management paid no heed to ‘history’, referring to his team’s awful record in the past where Pakistan had never beaten India in a World Cup game. The score was 12-0 before they scripted a historic win over arch-rivals India in the 2021 T20I World Cup- a first since 1992.

“We prepared well, and just kept the history out of our mind. We needed quality practice, and warm-up matches, and even our domestic tournament and those games gave us a lot of confidence,” said Babar Azam.

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

Also, Shaheen Shah Afridi was on the money as India lost both their openers for the score of just six. Rohit Sharma was out off an inch-perfect yorker while KL Rahul saw his off stumps flying. Babar Azam lauded his pace and spin bowlers for the effort.

“This was the team’s effort, and the early wickets were very helpful. It gave us a lot of confidence and our spinners were very good as well. We applied our plans and got the results.”

The tall paceman dismissed dangerous opener Rohit Sharma with the fourth delivery of the match for a first-ball duck and then had KL Rahul (three) and Virat Kohli (57) in an incisive 3-31 spell off his four overs. His effort restricted India to a below-par 151-7 in their 20 overs.

Captain Babar Azam scored a 52-ball 68 not out while Mohammad Rizwan hit an undefeated 55-ball 79 as Pakistan achieved their first ten-wicket win in all Twenty20 internationals. This was also India’s first ten-wicket defeat in Twenty20 cricket.

Shaheen Shah Afridi: Pakistan Would Look To Carry Momentum From Win Against India And Go On To Win 2021 T20I World Cup

Meanwhile, Shaheen Shah Afridi has described his ‘man of the match’ effort as a result of ‘good wishes from my parents.’ He took three wickets in the game, including the big names of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul.

“It is the good wishes of my parents and all Pakistanis. Very happy with my performance. The plan was to bring the ball back in. I was just trying to swing it and I was just looking to give the team a breakthrough. That was what I practiced in the nets as well yesterday. Batting against the new ball was tough. “

“The credit goes to Babar and Rizwan for the way they played. All teams are good in the tournament and we will look to carry this momentum through and go to the finals.”

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

Besides Virat Kohli’s 49-ball 57, Rishabh Pant slammed 39 in 30 deliveries. Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to put India on the back foot early. India will next play New Zealand on October 31 while Pakistan will take on New Zealand on October 26.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
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Loss To Pakistan Is An Absolute Hammering: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar, the former India skipper spoke on India’s 10-wicket loss against Pakistan, stating that India needs to gather themselves for upcoming fixtures after receiving an “absolute hammering” in the first match.

Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar didn’t hold back when he spoke about the heavy loss suffered by India against Pakistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai. Sunil Gavaskar described this 10-wicket defeat as an “absolute hammering” while talking on the post-match show on Star Sports.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunil Gavaskar: The First World Cup Loss To Pakistan Is An Absolute Hammering As Far As India Is Concerned

Pakistan dominated the match in both bowling and batting departments and chased down the target with more than 13 balls to spare.

The defeat didn’t go down very well with Gavaskar, who said, “The loss is an absolute hammering as far as India is concerned.”

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

However, despite the loss, Sunil Gavaskar explained that the tournament had just begun and India needed to gather themselves and prepare for the upcoming fixtures against New Zealand, Afghanistan, Namibia, and Scotland.

“Hopefully, India will pick themselves up quickly because that’s important. You’ve got to forget what has happened in this game and focus on the next few matches,” he added.

Pakistan came out all guns blazing as they restricted India to a below-par 151/7 in their 20 overs. Shaheen Shah Afridi dismantled the Indian top-order, claiming three wickets that included the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and eventually that of skipper Virat Kohli.

Pakistan Openers Babar Azam And Mohammad Rizwan Ensured Pakistan Did Not Lose A Wicket In Their 152 Run Chase

After a spirited bowling performance, Pakistan openers, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan did not let the opposition bowlers settle to any kind of lines and lengths as they chased down the target in 17.5 overs without losing a solitary wicket.

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).

Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan scored half-centuries each and added 152 for an unbeaten opening stand which helped their team win the first-ever match against India at a T20 World Cup. Both India and Pakistan have New Zealand in line for their next match.

Babar Azam stroked his way to 68 while his opening partner, Mohammad Rizwan, smashed 79 as the Indian bowlers struggled to contain the two batters Earlier, Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India recover from a disastrous start and post 151/7 against Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup match on Sunday.

Besides Virat Kohli’s 49-ball 57, Rishabh Pant slammed 39 in 30 deliveries. Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to put India on the back foot early. India will next play New Zealand on October 31 while Pakistan will take on New Zealand on October 26.

Brief scores: India: 151/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3/31) lost to Pakistan: 152 for no loss in 17.5 overs (Babar Azam 68 not out, Mohammad Rizwan 79 not out) by 10 wickets.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Mohammad Rizwan Praised Shaheen Shah Afridi’s Blistering Spell Which Helped Pakistan Beat India

Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan opener, praised pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi for providing the spark for the 10-wicket crushing win over India at the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.

The tall paceman dismissed dangerous opener Rohit Sharma with the fourth delivery of the match for a first-ball duck and then had KL Rahul (three) and Virat Kohli (57) in an incisive 3-31 spell off his four overs. His effort restricted India to a below-par 151-7 in their 20 overs. A target Pakistan overhauled in 17.5 overs without losing a wicket — their first victory over India in six Twenty20 World Cup games.

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

Mohammad Rizwan Said That Shaheen Shah Afridi’s Wickets At The Top Of The Order Were Decisive

The win also broke Pakistan’s jinx of 12 World Cup games (seven 50-over World Cup matches as well) without a victory against India since 1992.

“Shaheen got us wickets at the top of the order and that proved to be the turning point,” said Mohammad Rizwan after Pakistan’s victory in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage.

Shaheen Shah Afridi. File
Shaheen Shah Afridi. File

Captain Babar Azam scored a 52-ball 68 not out while Mohammad Rizwan hit an undefeated 55-ball 79 as Pakistan achieved their first ten-wicket win in all Twenty20 internationals. This was also India’s first ten-wicket defeat in Twenty20 cricket. Mohammad Rizwan said the victory was a gift to the nation.

“Congratulations to the whole of Pakistan and all our people as we were all waiting for this win,” said Mohammad Rizwan.

“This was my first game against India, so it’s a good thing for me. I used to watch all the Indo-Pak matches on television and used to pinpoint where we made mistakes. But today’s game was great and after Shaheen got those wickets we were confident we would win.”

After India was reduced to 6-2, losing Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul early in the third over, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav put up a 25 run stand in 20 deliveries. Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India recover from a disastrous start and post 151/7 against Pakistan in Sunday’s ICC T20 World Cup match. Besides Virat Kohli’s 49-ball 57, Rishabh Pant slammed 39 in 30 deliveries.

Shaheen Shah Afridi Said First Win Over India In A World Cup Match Was Heartening And Welcoming

Shaheen Shah Afridi said the win was the perfect start to the tournament where the top two teams in each Super 12 group make the semifinals.

“We knew that we have to win this game as we had never won a World Cup match against India, so it’s very heartening and welcoming,” he said.

Shaheen Shah Afridi said he had planned to bring the ball in as the dry pitch was offering some swing. It worked as he first trapped Rohit Sharma plumb before wicket and then bowled KL Rahul with a yorker.

“I had a plan against Rohit and that was to bring the ball in,” said Shaheen. “It swung and I got him leg-before wicket and that was the start we needed.”

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

Indian skipper Virat Kohli scored a valiant 57 before he was caught behind off Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 19th over.

“Kohli is a world-class batsman so he survived that first spell but I know that he bats like Babar and I bowled to him as I bowl against Babar in the nets.”

Pakistan next plays New Zealand in Sharjah on Tuesday. Shaheen Shah Afridi was adjudged as the player of the match as Pakistan registered their first win over India in World Cups. Both sides next face New Zealand, a set of fixtures that could arguably seal the fate of the group.

Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
Hardik Pandya AFP/Getty Images
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Hardik Pandya Should Only Be In Playing 11 If He Can Bowl: Brad Hogg

Brad Hogg, the former Australia spinner, firmly believes that Hardik Pandya should only be in the playing XI if he can contribute with the ball. The all-rounder played as a pure batsman yesterday against Pakistan in the all-important clash(October 24) and was absent in the second innings after being hit in the shoulder.

Hardik Pandya scored 11 runs off eight deliveries towards the end of the first innings. He had earlier confirmed that he would not be able to bowl in the fixture against Pakistan. Hardik Pandya is currently working to make himself available as an all-rounder at some stage in the tournament.

Hardik Pandya undergoing precautionary scans (AFP)
Hardik Pandya undergoing precautionary scans (AFP)

Brad Hogg Feels India Is Making A Mistake Playing Hardik Pandya

Brad Hogg believes allrounders- offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin and pacer Shardul Thakur could be brought in to increase India’s batting and bowling depth simultaneously.

While speaking on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg said: “I think it was a big mistake playing Hardik Pandya. The only other way I would have gone is Thakur in place of probably Shami and Ashwin for Pandya. In that case, you can have Jadeja batting in at 6, Thakur at 7, and Ashwin at 8. Pandya has got to be bowling if he wants to be in the playing XI. He has got a lot of talent, but he is just not a frontline batter.”

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images.

India missed the services of a sixth bowler during their 10-wicket loss to Pakistan in their opening contest of the 2021 T20 World Cup. The opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan comfortably negotiated with the Indian bowling unit and chased the 152-run target with two overs to spare.

While Pakistan batted, skipper and opener Babar Azam stroked his way to 68 while his opening partner, Mohammad Rizwan, smashed 79 as the Indian bowlers struggled to contain the two batters. Earlier, Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India recover from a disastrous start and post 151/7 against Pakistan in Sunday’s ICC T20 World Cup match. Besides Virat Kohli’s 49-ball 57, Rishabh Pant slammed 39 in 30 deliveries.

Brad Hogg: Rishabh Pant’s Dismissal By Shadab Khan Turning Point

With India losing three wickets (Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul snd Suryakumar Yadav) in the powerplay itself, Rishabh Pant had to employ a conservative approach while batting. The wicket-keeper batsman switched gears after settling down with Virat Kohli holding the other end. Brad Hogg noted how Shadab Khan’s variation got the better of Rishabh Pant.

“I reckon it (the turning point) was the matchup between Pant and the spinners in the middle overs. Shadab Khan came on and was nervous bowling to Pant. Bowled on the leg side initially then someone came and had a chat with him. He then bowled the wrong’un, Pant took him on and got the top edge,” Brad Hogg concluded.

Rishabh Pant, the dashing left-handed southpaw, played a handy knock of 39 off 30 deliveries and stitched a 53-run partnership with skipper Virat Kohli for the fourth wicket. He was dismissed while trying to slog-sweep Shadab Khan towards mid-wicket as he got a top edge that was safely pouched on by the bowler himself.

Shaheen Shah Afridi was adjudged as the player of the match as Pakistan registered their first win over India in World Cups. Both sides next face New Zealand, a set of fixtures that could arguably seal the fate of the group.

Brief scores: India: 151/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3/31) lost to Pakistan: 152 for no loss in 17.5 overs (Babar Azam 68 not out, Mohammad Rizwan 79 not out) by 10 wickets.

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
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Brad Hogg Cherishes “Counter-attacking” Batting Display By Virat Kohli And Suryakumar Yadav Off Shaheen Shah Afridi

Brad Hogg, the former Australia spinner, reserved praise for Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav’s brief rescue act in the powerplay. After India was reduced to 6-2, losing Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul early in the third over, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav put up a 25 run stand in 20 deliveries.

With Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi in full flow, Pakistan was going all-out for more wickets in the powerplay. However, Suryakumar Yadav reduced the pressure with a flashy six that just evaded the fielder in the deep. In the powerplay, the left-arm pacer bowled his third straight over and had Virat Kohli on the ropes with three consecutive dot balls. The Indian skipper responded with a six-over long-on after coming down the track.

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images.

Brad Hogg: It Was Awesome To Watch Counter Attacking Batting Display By Virat Kohli And Suryakumar Yadav Off Shaheen Shah Afridi

The small exchange drew praise from Brad Hogg, who termed that it was awesome to watch the counter-attacking batting display.

“Virat Kohli played a wonderful shot straight past over the bowler’s head, that was just counter-attacking play and it was awesome cricket to watch. Even Suryakumar Yadav playing that pull shot off Shaheen Afridi was great. That is just courageous, aggressive cricket and if both of them had got out on those particular deliveries, everyone would have been screaming about it, but at some stage India had to take the risk,” said Brad Hogg.

Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli for India (Photo- BCCI)
Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli for India (Photo- BCCI)

The rebuild, however, did not last long as Suryakumar Yadav perished to Hasan Ali in the final over of the powerplay. Mohammad Rizwan took a sharp catch behind the stumps, which also marked his 100th catch in T20 cricket. While Pakistan batted, skipper and opener Babar Azam stroked his way to 68 while his opening partner, Mohammad Rizwan, smashed 79 as the Indian bowlers struggled to contain the two batters.

Earlier, Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India recover from a disastrous start and post 151/7 against Pakistan in Sunday’s ICC T20 World Cup match. Besides Virat Kohli’s 49-ball 57, Rishabh Pant slammed 39 in 30 deliveries.

Brad Hogg: Shaheen Shah Afridi Was Too Good As It Was Sensational Left Arm Bowling Upfront

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s exploits with the ball carved open the Indian batting unit. However, his angle, pace, and little movement offered were too hot for the Men In Blue to handle. Brad Hogg noted how crucial Pakistan’s pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi’s match-up against Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s likes, heading into the contest.

Hogg added: “Shaheen Afridi was just too good. This was a worry for me. Shaheen Shan and Haris Rauf, two young fast bowlers, playing such a high-profile match, the emotions might get to them. He was just on the money from ball one. It was just sensational left-arm bowling upfront. His matchups against Rohit and Kohli were key heading into this match but getting Rahul out was unbelievable,” Hogg explained.

Shaheen Shah Afridi. File
Shaheen Shah Afridi. File

Shaheen Shah Afridi was adjudged as the player of the match as Pakistan registered their first win over India in World Cups. Both sides next face New Zealand, a set of fixtures that could arguably seal the fate of the group.

Pakistan thus brought to an end India’s near-three-decade domination of them in the world stage in the most convincing fashion, embarrassing their arch-rivals by 10 wickets at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The law of averages had to catch up with India sooner or later after having won seven ODI and five T20 World Cup games since they first met at Sydney in 1992.

Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
Misbah-ul-Haq- the head coach of the Pakistan cricket team.© AFP
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Misbah-ul-Haq Hopes Pakistan Doesn’t Go Overboard With Celebrations After Breaking World Cup Jinx Against India

Misbah-ul-Haq, former Pakistan captain and coach, and current Pakistan skipper Babar Azam were among the ones who cautioned the Pakistan players of not going “overboard” with their celebrations following the historic win over India as it was only the first match of the team’s T20 World Cup campaign.

Misbah-ul-Haq, who was forced to resign as head coach of the national team one month before the 2021 World T20 Cup, said the Pakistan players must remain focused on winning the mega-event after beating India for the first time in a World Cup. Misbah-ul-Haq played 75 tests, 162 ODIs, and 39 T20 internationals in his international career.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Misbah-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Misbah-ul-Haq Hopes Pakistan Doesn’t Go Overboard With Celebrations After Breaking Jinx Of Losing In World Cups

In Match 1 of Group 1 of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Pakistan brought to an end India’s near-three-decade domination of them in the world stage in the most convincing fashion, embarrassing their arch-rivals by 10 wickets at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The law of averages had to catch up with India sooner or later after having won seven ODI and five T20 World Cup games since they first met at Sydney in 1992.

Speaking on the a sports Channel with Waqar Younis who also resigned as bowling coach before the tournament, Misbah-ul-Haq said: “I just hope we don’t go overboard with the celebrations and forget we have more matches to play and win in the World Cup.”

Misbah-ul-Haq said that the team had displayed perfect discipline and executed its plans to perfection to beat India by 10 wickets.

“Now the task is to ensure we continue to play with the same discipline with every player fulfilling his role as he did against India if we are to win the tournament, “Misbah-ul-Haq added.

Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigned soon after the team returned from the West Indies. A few days after, former captain and commentator Ramiz Raja took charge as Pakistan Cricket Board chairman on September 13. Waqar Younis also noted that it was a tendency in Pakistan cricket that celebrations tended to go overboard. Waqar Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq both had a year still left in their tenures, having taken charge in September 2019.

“This is only the first match and we are still to play against other tough opposition. If we beat India today it does not mean we should take it for granted we can also beat New Zealand, Afghanistan for that we will have to continue the hard work.”

Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
Pakistan coaching unit – comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)

Babar Azam made the same impassioned plea to his players in a video released by the PCB soon after winning the match against India.

“Let’s celebrate, let us go back to the hotel and enjoy this moment with our families but don’t forget this match is now over and we must get back on track to prepare for the other matches of the tournament,” Babar said to his players.

Babar Azam said that after beating India, there would be more expectations from the team now, and to live up to them, the players will have to work harder.

“I want every player to celebrate this moment tonight but then go back to realizing what his role is in the team and what is expected of him in the remaining matches. We have not just come here to win against India, we have come here to win the World Cup, always remember that, ” Babar said.

Pakistan team’s interim head coach, Saqlain Mushtaq, also reminded the players that now teams will come stronger at Pakistan after the win over India.

“We must all do soul searching and think about what we did right today to win the match in such a fashion and to also think and keep working on the weak areas where we still need to continue to do work to remove them. It is about honest self-assessment,” he said.

Saqlain Mushtaq also said that the players must not get carried away with the celebrations after the win over India as cricket was a cruel sport, and every match was a new one. Former Pakistan opener, Mohsin Khan said that winning the toss had been vital for Pakistan and Babar Azam took the right decision to chase down a total as dew would remain a big factor for teams in the tournament.

Aaqib Javed And Rashid Latif Impressed With Pakistan’s Win

Former Test pacer Aaqib Javed said that Shaheen Shah Afridi’s burst of two wickets with the new ball and Hasan Ali’s one wicket put India on the back foot, and they never recovered after that.

“I liked the way the bowlers displayed so much discipline and game awareness today. Haris Rauf used the slower balls to great advantage, ” he said.

Aaqib Javed, a 1992 World Cup-winning squad member, said that it was good to see the Pakistan players showing so much self-belief and confidence.

“India is a top side and to beat them by 10-wickets is amazing. Don’t rule out a rematch with them perhaps in the final, ” he 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).

Pakistan’s former wicketkeeper-batsman and captain Rashid Latif lauded the thorough professional attitude and performance of the players.

“Everything went according to plan today starting with the toss. I don’t think any other team which loses its head coach and bowling coach just before a World Cup can perform like this. This can only be done by Pakistan which produces remarkable cricket when least expected,” Latif said.

Pakistan’s former Test pacer Umar Gul said he did not doubt that India would make a strong comeback in their remaining matches.

“They are a very strong side and they will be smarting after this defeat. Expect them to come back strongly.”

Pakistan embarrassed their arch-rivals by 10 wickets in the Super 12 match. Babar Azam stroked his way to 68 while his opening partner, Mohammad Rizwan, smashed 79 as the Indian bowlers struggled to contain the two batters.

Earlier, Virat Kohli’s half-century helped India recover from a disastrous start and post 151/7 against Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup match on Sunday.

Besides Virat Kohli’s 49-ball 57, Rishabh Pant slammed 39 in 30 deliveries. Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to put India on the back foot early. India will next play New Zealand on October 31 while Pakistan will take on New Zealand on October 26.

Brief scores: India: 151/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 57, Rishabh Pant 39; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3/31) lost to Pakistan: 152 for no loss in 17.5 overs (Babar Azam 68 not out, Mohammad Rizwan 79 not out) by 10 wickets.

Rashid Latif Screengrab: YouTube
Rashid Latif Screengrab: YouTube
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Pakistan Will Win Only If Indian Players Make Mistakes: Rashid Latif Opens Up On The Blockbuster India-Pakistan Clash

Rashid Latif gave his verdict on the upcoming Super 12 fixture in the 2021 T20I Worlds Cup between India and Pakistan. Ahead of Team India’s T20 World Cup opener on Sunday, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif stated that his country can only win if India makes plenty of mistakes on the field.

Pakistan will start their ICC T20I World Cup 2021 campaign against arch-rivals India in Dubai on 24 October.  They will then face New Zealand in Sharjah on 26 October before returning to Dubai to take on Afghanistan.

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

Rashid Latif: Pakistan Will Win Only If Indian Players Make Mistakes

Both sides face each other at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday and will be hoping to start their respective campaign with a win.

“In my opinion, no matter how well Pakistan plays, if Indian players don’t make mistakes, then it will be difficult for Pakistan to win the match”, Rashid Latif said.

India vs Pakistan game (Reuters Photo)
India vs Pakistan game (Reuters Photo)

“When I captained Pakistan, I always tried to induce errors from the opposition. Of course, you have to do your own job first, but at the same time, it’s important to make the other team commit mistakes. So, it’s not just about the technique or skills, it’s about tactics. You have to get your tactics right and try to make the other team commit errors”, Rashid Latif further added.

India has won seven of their eight T20Is against Pakistan, with five of those coming at the World Cup. However, the Men in Green are yet to win a World Cup game, be it T20Is or ODIs, against their arch-rivals.

Pakistan is yet to beat their arch-rivals India in a World Cup game in 12 encounters across the T20I and 50-over editions. Both India (2007) and Pakistan (2009) are former champions in the World T20 and have played plenty of cricket in UAE thanks to IPL and PSL.

Rashid Latif: There Is A Chance Of Making A Mistake By The Skipper As There Are Too Many Options Vying For A Place In XI

The 52-year-old also pointed out that Virat Kohli could be more prone to making a mistake due to the presence of many options for his playing XI.

“We have to see what Virat does if he wins the toss, and what combination he will be playing”, Rashid Latif said.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

“Will he play Suryakumar Yadav? Or Ishan Kishan? Then you also have to see which spinners they will play. There is Varun Chakravarthy, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja. So there is a chance of making a mistake by the captain in terms of picking the right players because you have so many options”, he also stated.

Pakistan is yet to defeat India in World Cups, having lost in their last 12 encounters. It also includes five defeats in the T20 World Cup. India has been paired with Afghanistan, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Scotland in Group B. At the same time, South Africa, West Indies, England, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh will fight it out in Group A in the Super 12 stage.

Rohit Sharma blasted 60 off just 41 balls in the warm-up games to give India a blistering start against Australia. KL Rahul was impressive in the two warm-up games scoring a quickfire half-century against England followed by a solid 39 against Australia.

Ishan Kishan too hit 70 against England but is likely to be ignored in the all-important opening game. The middle and lower-order are very likely to comprise Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja. Ravichandran Ashwin is an experienced campaigner and did well in the warm-up encounter against Australia  (claiming two scalps). Still, there is a chance that India might play Varun Chakravarthy to surprise the opposition.

India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
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Any Side Could Upset India In Any Knockout Game As India Lacks Plan B And T20I Is Unpredictable: Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain, the former England skipper, feels that “any side can defeat” India in the knockout stage of the ICC T20 World Cup, owing to their lack of plan B and the uncertain nature of the shortest format of the game.

India has looked in fine form in the run-up to the tournament, having defeated heavyweights England and Australia in the two warm-up games prior to the group games in the 2021 T20I World Cup against Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Scotland, and Namibia. Their players also have the required match practice under their belts, thanks to the recently concluded IPL 2021.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain: Anyone Could Upset India In Any Knockout Game Due To The T20I Format Being Unpredictable

Against England in their first warm-up game, chasing a target of 189, India reached 192 for three in 19 overs. Openers KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan were in brilliant form. KL Rahul smashed 51 off 24 deliveries, and Ishan Kishan retired after playing a knock of 70 runs off 46 balls.

In their second warm-up game, India thumped Australia by nine wickets with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Suryakumar Yadav (38), all getting some runs under their belts. Australia’s bowlers captured only one wicket, with spinner Ashton Agar removing opener KL Rahul. Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner KL Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.

“They are favourites. I wouldn’t say clear favourites simply because of the format. The shorter the game, things can happen,” Nasser Hussain said.

“… an individual brilliance of 70 or 80 or three deliveries suddenly changes the other away around. So anyone could upset India in any knockout game,” Nasser Hussain said.

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

Nasser Hussain also highlighted India’s poor track record in the knockout stages of recent ICC events. India’s last ICC title came under the leadership of M.S. Dhoni in 2013 when they defeated England to lift the Champions Trophy.

Since then, India has been knocked out of the semifinals in the 2015 World Cup, 2016 T20 World Cup, and the 2019 World Cup while finishing runner-up at the 2017 Champions Trophy and the inaugural World Test Championship earlier this year.

“Their record of late in the ICC tournaments is not good and that’s something they are going to have to deal with — with the weight of expectations of the Indian audience and fans heavy on their shoulders — when they get to a knockout game, all of a sudden you cannot afford a mistake and that’s going to be a thing for them.”

Nasser Hussain feels that India doesn’t have a plan B when their top-order fails in a knock-out match.

“When they get to a stage — you look at the last World Cup against New Zealand — and suddenly it’s a low-scoring game and they don’t have a Plan B. They got rolled over a very good New Zealand side. So that’s going to be an issue for them,” Nasser Hussain said.

“The other problem with India is that they are so good at the top with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and K.L. Rahul boss games and the middle order hasn’t had much of a hit. You get to a knockout or final and suddenly they are at 30 for 3 because the standard has gone up and the middle order hasn’t had a hit and you go now you need to do it,” Nasser Hussain added.

The India squad for the T20 World Cup remains top-heavy, with Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, and Ravindra Jadeja likely to make up the lower middle-order and unable to inspire a great deal of confidence. Hardik Pandya averages less than 20 despite playing 49 T20Is and managed only 127 runs averaging a pathetic 14.11 at a strike rate of less than 115 in IPL 2021, and hasn’t bowled in IPL 2020 and 2021.

Hardik Pandya is in indifferent form, while Rishabh Pant has not been able to translate his Test success into T20Is, averaging just 21.33 after 33 matches. Ravindra Jadeja has batted only six times in T20Is since the start of 2019, but India was forced to go ahead with the experienced trio due to the lack of expertise of other players vying for selection.

Ravindra Jadeja’s last T20I was in 2020 against Australia, where he scored an unbeaten 44 before being concussed and missed the next few T20Is.

Nasser Hussain: India Has Some Of The Greatest White Ball Batsmen As On Paper They Have Every Base Covered

The former England cricketer said Virat Kohli-led India also needs to deal with the burden of expectation on its shoulders which arises because of the tremendous talent in the side.

“When they get into a knockout game all of a sudden they can’t afford any mistake and that’s because on paper they have everything. They have some of the greatest white-ball batters. Depth in the batting got the fast bowlers and the mystery spin and a mentor on the sidelines in M.S. Dhoni.”

Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo:AFP)
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo: AFP)

“These are the areas India have to focus on. On paper, they have pretty much every base covered,” he added.

The 40-year-old MS Dhoni’s new role as a mentor of Team India is limited to the T20I World Cup.  MS Dhoni is the most successful captain in white-ball cricket with all 3 ICC titles – 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup, 2013 Champions Trophy- in his cabinet. He’s led IPL franchise CSK to victory in the IPL in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021.

While captain Virat Kohli has lauded the appointment of ‘mentor’ MS Dhoni, opening batsman KL Rahul said he is looking forward to learning from the World Cup 2007 (T20I) and 2011 (ODI) winning former captain once again.

Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo:AFP)
Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (Photo:AFP)
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Sunil Gavaskar Welcomes Move To Bring Mentor MS Dhoni On Board In 2021 T20I WC

Sunil Gavaskar said MS Dhoni working as a mentor of the Indian cricket team will benefit them a great deal at the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

Legendary India batsman Sunil Gavaskar welcomed the inclusion of keeper MS Dhoni as India’s mentor at the T20 World Cup, saying off-field tactics might help influence the outcome of games in fast-paced T20 cricket.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

Sunil Gavaskar Welcomes Move To Bring MS Dhoni As A Mentor For 2021 T20I WC

Speaking at Salaam Cricket 2021, Sunil Gavaskar said MS Dhoni’s work as a mentor will definitely benefit Virat Kohli’s team in the showpiece event but said a lot will depend on how India players execute their plans in crunch situations. MS Dhoni was appointed as India’s mentor for the T20 World Cup and the former captain is not getting any monetary benefit for the honorary role.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah had thanked MS Dhoni for the gesture as India look to end their 8-year drought for an ICC trophy. After leading Chennai Super Kings to their 4th Indian Premier League title in Dubai last week, MS Dhoni joined the Team India bio-bubble as their mentor. He was spotted having conversations with the players and the support staff during their first training session in Dubai.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

MS Dhoni was seen with Rishabh Pant during India’s warm-up match win over Australia in Dubai as the two wicketkeepers were working on training drills. While captain Virat Kohli has lauded the appointment of MS Dhoni, opening batsman KL Rahul said he is looking forward to learning from the World Cup 2007 (T20I) and 2011 (ODI) winning former captain once again.

“Mentor won’t do much on the field. But in the change room, he is needed. T20 is such a fast-paced game that the right tactics can change the proceedings. When you have a time-out, you need to know what you have to tell your batters or fielders. To understand this, bringing MS Dhoni as mentor is a very good move. It will definitely benefit the team,” Gavaskar said.

“But he will remain in the change room. But the work on the field needs to be done by the players. So learning how to handle that pressure and then respond to that pressure will influence the result.”

KL Rahul has been one of the most consistent T20 performers for India, with astounding returns of 659, 593, 670, and 626 runs in the last four editions of IPL.

The 40-year-old MS Dhoni’s new role as a mentor of Team India is limited to the T20I World Cup.  MS Dhoni is the most successful captain in white-ball cricket with all 3 ICC titles – 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup, 2013 Champions Trophy- in his cabinet. He’s led IPL franchise CSK to victory in the IPL in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021.

Sunil Gavaskar: India Should Sort Final XI Right In Major Knock Out Games

Sunil Gavaskar highlighted that India has not been able to get past the knockout hurdles at ICC tournaments in the recent past and said team selection is something that the Asian giants should get right at these crucial matches.

“From whatever I have seen, India has lacked in major knock-out games and that lacking has been in team selection. The selection of the final XI. If you are able to sort out that final XI problem, then you might not face the hiccup,” Gavaskar said.
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI

India was knocked out in the semi-final of the 2015 World Cup and the T20 World Cup in 2016. In 2017, India lost to Pakistan in the final of the Champions Trophy followed by a semi-final exit at the 2019 World Cup

KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)
KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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KL Rahul And Rishabh Pant A Major Threat To Pakistan: Matthew Hayden

Matthew Hayden, the former Australia opener and newly appointed Pakistan batting consultant, said leadership will be key in the much anticipated India-Pakistan T20 World Cup clash in “dogfight conditions” in Dubai on Sunday.

Terming the match a real dogfight, Matthew Hayden, who is working with the Pakistan team as a batting consultant, said the margin for error will be very little in the big match, so leadership will be the key to the outcome.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden (Image Credit: Twitter)

Matthew Hayden: Leadership Will Be The Key

Matthew Hayden cited examples of MS Dhoni and Eoin Morgan, who led their respective IPL franchises CSK and KKR to the IPL 2021 with success when their own individual performances with the bat were not at expected levels.

“Their individual performances were not as good as they have previously done as per their statistical records but the way they led their troops and conducted themselves played an important part in their teams reaching the IPL final in UAE conditions,” Hayden said in a media interaction.

“I feel leadership will be key in the coming match as conditions in UAE leave very little margin for error and there are dogfight conditions out there.”

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP via Getty Images)

Matthew Hayden said Pakistan captain Babar Azam had a role to play in the match as a leader and a premium batter.

“There will be additional pressure on him as captain and batsman because he will be targeted and everyone will be wanting to like they say, put him in their pocket. Babar has command and presence and he needs to fulfill that role in a batting sense and captain.”

India and Pakistan will face off in their Super 12s opener on Sunday, October 24 as fireworks are expected in the game between the two arch-rivals. Pakistan’s next game will see them take on New Zealand just two days later. Defeats in those two games would probably spell curtains on their campaign.

Babar Azam has scored 2,204 runs in international T20I cricket in 61 matches at an average of 46.89 with one century and 20 half-centuries. He has scored 7055 runs in 196 T20s averaging 46.11 with 6 tons and 59 fifties.

Matthew Hayden: KL Rahul Possesses A Major Threat To Pakistan

Matthew Hayden also observed that having followed Indian cricket very closely over the years, he believed that dashing batsmen KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant pose the biggest threat to Pakistan in the match.

“More or less I have watched KL Rahul grow and he is a major threat to Pakistan. I have watched him grow up as a boy. I have seen his struggles and his dominance in shorter formats.

“I have seen someone like Rishab Pant, his brash nature and beautiful vision for the game, how he has destroyed bowling attacks because he has got the opportunity because he sees it that way.”

KL Rahul, one of the top run-getters in the IPL 2021, smashed a sparkling fifty against England in India’s first warm-up match and also looked in great touch against Australia in the second warm-up match. On the other hand, Rishabh Pant had a pretty good IPL 2021 himself and hit some lusty blows against England in the 1st warm-up game.

KL Rahul Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
KL Rahul Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

The Australian opener also said, having watched the game’s various elements and been part of it. He can say that nothing matches the rivalry between Pakistan and India, with the Ashes between England and Australia coming a close second to the arch-rivals games.

“For an Australian obviously the Ashes and matches against England are tops but nothing matches the rivalry of these two teams.”

Matthew Hayden said Pakistan has some wonderful assets that will perform on the given day. He termed Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Fakhar Zaman as key players for Pakistan.

“I have learned for whatever reason you are always under pressure, you don’t need to create additional pressure to what the game demands.”

Asked about his short-term role as a batting consultant with the Pakistan team, Matthew Hayden said his main purpose was to bring calmness and control among cricketers and tell the players to remain focused because T20I World Cups are quite challenging.

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