Passionate Pakistan Turn Tables On Lackluster India
June 18 2017
Pakistan turned the tables on a somewhat self-satisfied and complacent Indian team to record their biggest win in an ICC tournament since winning the World Cup under Imran Khan in 1992 by lifting the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
At the beginning of the tournament Virat Kohli the Indian captain said that the format of the tournament was such that any team on its day could win the trophy. How prophetic he was, as Pakistan who were soundly thrashed by India in their opening league encounter then fought in a manner similar to Imran’s Cornered Tigers to beat South Africa, Sri Lanka, England and finally India again to deservedly hoist the trophy. Yet one was left with the impression that India were not as geed up for this game as they were for the first encounter against Pakistan. Why that was the case was hard to fathom as this was actually the most important game of the tournament, i.e. the Final.
However Indian captain Virat Kohli was extremely gracious in defeat, admitting that his team were outplayed on the day in every department of the game. He did however say he was proud of his team making the finals and said in the end it was just a game of cricket. He made no excuses. This was in contrast to what the England captain said after losing to Pakistan in the semi-finals where he blamed the contrasting conditions between London and Cardiff and England's inability to adjust for his team’s equally one-sided loss to Pakistan. Imagine if conditions between two grounds in England were too difficult to adjust to, then what it would be like to adjust to conditions for teams visiting England from the Indian Subcontinent.
A word about the Pakistani captain Sarfraz Ahmed. He comes across as a simple, yet street smart bloke, who backs his boys to the hilt, on and off the field. His reading of the game from behind the stumps is also very canny, and he is also a very useful batsman down the order. The way he allowed young Shadab to convince him to review the not out decision against Yuvraj, eventually leading to the decision being overturned on review also speaks volumes of how down to earth and approachable he seems to be among his teammates. If he is given a long stint in the role and maybe even given the reigns in the longer format of the game, with the retirement of Misbah ul Haq, Pakistan may yet have another very good captain in the making.
That the World No. 8 ranked team, that barely made it into the trophy instead of No. 9 West Indies, then won the tournament is ultimately good for the game, and especially for Pakistan cricket which has not been able to play in Pakistan for nearly a decade due to the threat of terrorist violence that is endemic to that nation. The tournament also showed that the India v. Pakistan rivalry in cricket is still alive and kicking, despite the recent matches, except of the just concluded final, being mostly one-sided in favor of India. One hopes this great win serves as an incentive for Pakistan to work towards the day that it can once again play its “home” games in Pakistan.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:07:20:15:52:34 by Birbal.
India - were never at the races yesterday, and all credit must go to Pakistan who on the day were the better team in all departments.