On the weekend we saw Pakistan thrash India in their opening game in the ICC T20 World Cup, Virat kohli and his team mates will be viewing their Pakistani counterparts in action a million times to learn how to play a good fast bowler.
In his usual crammed response after every loss, Indian captain Virat Kohli on Sunday said his team was “outplayed” by Pakistan.
It was not surprising for him to add that he and his players are nowhere near to press the panic button just yet. Virat and his boys play New Zealand next but then there are minnows like – Scotland, Afghanistan and Namibia to make life a little easier for them.
But then again – remember their mighty effort against Bangladesh – when they made an early exit in the 2007 ODI World Cup?
India will face New Zealand on October 31, Afghanistan on November 3, Scotland on November 5, and Namibia on November 8.
We will wait and see how they fare.
In this game, Pakistan produced a clinical effort to crush India by 10 wickets for their first win in a World Cup match in 13 attempts.
When India collapsed and managed only 151 for 7, fans knew they were going to struggle with this score given India’s predictable bowling attack.
Pakistan led from the word go. They put India in to bat first and made a complete mockery of India’s batting prowess reducing it to 151.
Chasing 152 for victory, Pakistan reached the target in 17.5 overs, leaving the Indian team and its millions of fans stunned.
“We did not execute the things that we wanted to but credit is certainly due – they (Pakistan) outplayed us today,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
India found themselves on the back-foot straightaway as they lost three wickets with just 31 runs on the board, thanks to Shaheen Shah Afridi’s menacing opening burst.
“When you lose three early wickets it’s very difficult to come back, especially when you know the dew is coming. They were very professional with the bat as well.
“Hitting through the line was not as easy in the first half as it seemed in the Pakistan innings, so when you know the conditions can change, you need 10-20 extra runs.
“But some quality bowling from Pakistan didn’t let us get off the blocks. We’re certainly not a team that presses the panic button, it’s the start of the tournament, not the end,” Kohli said.
While one could see India’s batsmen struggling to score – particularly seeing Kohli’s “laboured 57”, it was an utter delight to watch Pakistan skipper Babar Azam stroking his way to unbeaten 68. He was ably complemented by Mohammad Rizwan who smashed 79 not out effortlessly as Pakistan won it without any trouble whatsoever.
It was obvious Pakistan had a “plan” to play India and they executed the plans to perfection.
“We executed our plans well and the early wickets were very helpful. Shaheen’s wickets gave us a lot of confidence and the spinners dominated as well. The plan with Rizwan is always to keep it simple,” Babar said.
“We tried to get deep in the crease and from about the 8th over the dew came in and the ball came on nicely. This is just the start, we have confidence to build on now. It will remain match by match for us.” He said the pressure on his team wasn’t that much and they weren’t thinking of the record against India at all.
“I only wanted to back all our players who’ve been preparing well. When you play tournaments before a big World Cup, it helps and our players came in with a lot of confidence because of that.”
Although Kohli has not pressed the “panic” button just yet, the visuals of ‘Pakistan thrash India’ will last a lifetime unless the reverse is produced with this tournament.