ICC Champions Trophy 2017: India vs Pakistan, 5 things that went wrong for Pakistan

CRICKET-CT-2017-IND-PAK : News Photo
India cruised to a 124-run victory
Sumedh Pande

India's dominance against their arch rivals, Pakistan, in ICC events continued as a massive 124 run victory ensured another success story for the Men in Blue against their neighbours. India played like winners from the get-go and posted a mammoth 319 in their first innings after rain reduced the match to a 48-over affair. Rohit Sharma made a brilliant 91 whereas a late blitzkrieg from Yuvraj Singh and Hardik Pandya helped the Indians reach a formidable score.

Umesh Yadav shone for India with the figures of 30/3 to win the game for his side as Pakistan failed to bat sensibly in their run chase. It was a disappointing batting performance from the Men in Green as other than Azhar Ali, no other batsman looked like causing India’s bowlers any problems.

Pakistan made a lot of mistakes right from the second over itself and here are five of them:

#1 Opening the bowling with Imad Wasim

Pakistan won the toss and understandably chose to bowl first. Mohammad Amir opened the bowling and bowled a peach of an over against Rohit Sharma who made a return to the international circuit after a long injury hiatus. It was the perfect start for Pakistan who had named three seamers Amir, Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali in their starting line-up. But to share the new ball with Amir, captain Sarfaraz Ahmed decided to go with left arm spinner Imad Wasim.

The all-rounder had bowled with the new ball in the past but the opponents then were West Indies and not India. Both Dhawan and Sharma handled Wasim pretty easily and facing the spinner gave them a good feel of the wicket and more importantly, nullified the pressure created by Mohammad Amir at the other end. It was a mistake by the Pakistani captain who should have gone with a pacer instead.

#2 Poor fielding throughout the innings

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy : News Photo
Kohli made full use of his reprieve

Pakistan’s fielders are generally considered the worst in the business and they gave an example of that in Birmingham tonight. It looked like a casual approach from them on the field in a game where they needed to give absolutely everything. Misfields and easy singles were on offer, easing the pressure on the batsmen.

However, their biggest blunder came in the 39th over when they dropped a sitter off Yuvraj Singh who was in single digits at the time. The southpaw went on to score a quickfire 50 to take India beyond 300. A few overs later, Virat Kohli was dropped at short mid wicket and after that reprieve, Kohli grew in confidence and changed gears in the final few overs.

#3 A bad day in the office for Wahab Riaz

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy : News Photo
Wahab Riaz had a night to forget

Pakistan's premium left arm pacer over the years – Wahab Riaz – had a lot of responsibility going into this game to provide breakthroughs for his side. Things did not go according to plan though as he had a nightmarish game. To rub salt into the wound, he twisted his ankle in the last over which forced him to leave the field.

Riaz struggled with his length and was all over the place in his 8.4 over spell. He conceded 87 runs, the most conceded by any bowler in the Champions Trophy. Riaz couldn't bat as well and Pakistan had to concede the game after losing nine wickets.

Extra Cover: Stats: Wahab Riaz registers most expensive spell in Champions Trophy

#4 Sedate start

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy : News Photo
The Pakistan batsmen failed to get going

Chasing 324 in 48 overs, Pakistan needed a quick start to put pressure on the Indian bowlers straightaway. But the openers, Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad failed to up the ante as too many dot balls and a lack of boundaries resulted in the run rate increasing with each passing over.

A rain-induced break revised the target to 289 from 41 overs. Ali made a half century but it came all too slowly and his partner Shehzad struggled against India once again. Pakistan had played 61 dot balls by the time the 18th over of the innings was bowled.

#5 A collapse from the famed middle order

CRICKET-CT-2017-IND-PAK : News Photo
A middle order collapse added to Pakistan’s woes

Looking at the names of the Pakistani batsmen in the middle order, it was evident that if they wanted to have a decent chance against India, their experienced hitters would need to fire. That wasn't the case tonight as after a slow start by the openers, the middle order collapsed in a heap.

Babar Azam played a rash shot very early in his innings, Shoaib Malik was run out by the brilliance of Ravindra Jadeja while the duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Sarfaraz Ahmed failed to get going. It was an embarrassing performance by the Pakistani batsmen on a pitch that had no demons. A lot of introspection is needed now if are to have a good remainder of the tournament.

Edited by Staff Editor


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