Former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh feels Ravichandran Ashwin dropping Shan Masood’s catch in the India-Pakistan clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday (October 23), was the turning point of the first innings.
The drop happened with Masood on 25 off 21 balls and Pakistan 43/2 in the eighth over, which was bowled by Mohammed Shami. Ashwin dived at fine leg to complete the catch, but it landed in front of him. He misjudged the ball's trajectory as it fell millimeters in front of his fingers.
Yuvraj was not happy with the drop. He felt the momentum shifted in Pakistan's favor but backed the Men in Blue to come out on top at the innings break.
He wrote on Twitter:
“I guess the drop catch by R Ashwin! Has changed the momentum in favor of Pakistan! Catches win matches!! Hopefully India can pull it back!! Come on lads.”
Masood shared a crucial partnership of 76 runs with Iftikhar Ahmed for the third wicket to bring Pakistan back into the contest after they were struggling at 15/2.
The Indian bowlers fought back, eventually restricting the Men in Green to a 159.
Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya shine but Masood guides Pakistan to 159/8
India were sloppy in the field as several catches were dropped, but a clinical bowling performance from Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya helped them restrict Pakistan to 159/8 in 20 overs.
Masood emerged as the top scorer for Pakistan with 52 off 42 balls. Iftikhar Ahmed scored 51 (34). Shaheen Afridi stepped in to play a cameo of 16 off eight deliveries.
Arshdeep picked up three wickets, including Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan's important scalps. Hardik finished with figures of 3/30. Meanwhile, Shami and Bhuvneshwar settled for a wicket each.
Rohit Sharma and Co. will look to start the Super 12 campaign on a positive note by defeating Pakistan. They will be keen to avenge the Asia Cup Super-4 and the 2021 T20 World Cup defeats.
The Men in Blue are placed alongside Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands in Group 2 of the T20 World Cup. They will next play against the Netherlands in Sydney on Thursday (October 27).
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