The highly-anticipated India vs Pakistan clash in the Asia Cup ended up in a disappointing no result with rain playing a lead role in Kandy on Saturday, September 2, especially in the second half. Only the Men in Blue got the chance to bat and made the most of it having won the toss and opted to bat. Despite an iffy start when the Pakistan pacers had their tails up getting rid of the top order, Team India managed to get a tricky score of 266 runs on the board owing to Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya’s record partnership of 138 runs.
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar heaped praise on his fellow pacemen, especially Shaheen Afridi saying that he is currently one of the best fast bowlers in the world. Akhtar said that Rohit Sharma didn’t have any clue against Shaheen and rain didn’t help his rhythm one bit. However, he admitted that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam did make a mistake, which could have been one of the reasons for India recovering to a 266-run score.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Akhtar mentioned that India should have been restricted to under 200 and not under 300. “Agar Pakistan thoda aur aggressively aata upar, India 170 pe bhi out ho sakta tha, 200 se under bhi out ho sakta tha. Bada ganda morale girta India ka (When you have four early wickets, you shouldn’t let them play out the innings. Pakistan should have bowled them out by the 40th over given the start they got. India’s morale would have fallen if they could have been restricted to 170-200,” he said.
Akhtar further said that Babar should have operated pacers for two-over spells with pacers in the middle of the spin bowlers’ spells, which he felt was an error on the skipper’s part.
“A small mistake from Babar I feel. 15-17 overs by spinners in that situation, which I didn’t think was right. Attack should always be on. You need wickets, you’re not defending in that situation,” he said.
Pakistan have qualified for the Super Fours while India will await their qualification as they have to play Nepal in the group stage on Monday, September 4.
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