Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar stated that India had lost half the game even before a ball was bowled against Pakistan. Akhtar suggested that the toss was a crucial factor in India's loss against their arch-rivals.
Pakistan finally ended their dreaded streak against India in the World Cup on Sunday, battering their arch-rivals by 10 wickets in the opening game of the T20 World Cup. After winning the toss and opting to bowl first, Pakistan restricted India to 151 for 7.
Shaheen Shah Afridi ran riot with the new ball to dismiss both Indian openers which set the tone for the rest of the match. In the run chase, skipper Babar Azam led from the front alongside Mohammad Rizwan as the two openers registered half-centuries to cruise through to victory.
Shoaib Akhtar took to his YouTube channel to have his say on the match. The Rawalpindi Express believed that the toss had to play a huge factor in the match and the dew made it difficult for the Indian bowlers. He said:
"India lost half the game when they lost the toss. The dew proved to be too much for the bowlers. With the dew, the ball can neither swing nor spin. Pakistan got that advantage because they won the toss. There was little chance for swing or spin the ball for India because the ball was getting wet. The Indian spinners didn't have enough margin to spin."
The former Pakistan cricketer also opined that the Indian media piles on a lot of unnecessary pressure on their side in the build-up to the match. Akhtar added:
"There is unnecessary pressure on the Indian team from the media. That is not good at all. Everyone has their own agendas and set unrealistic standards for the team. Negative reactions are uncalled for. They portray it as if losing to Pakistan is impossible and a crime. It is a game of cricket, there has to be a winner and a loser."
Akhtar requested that Indian fans remain patient in their approach and not pile on any uncalled pressure on their side.
I believe India will still get to the final - Shoaib Akhtar
While Akhtar was pleased with his side finally ended their hoodoo against India in the World Cup, the former fast bowler suggested that India will still get to the final of the T20 World Cup. Here's what he had to say:
"This is just the start of the tournament. I believe India will still get to the final. The journey to the final will be a tough one now. There was too much pressure and they collapsed slightly but that doesn't mean the fans should spread hatred for their players. That's not good. India can still qualify and I want India and Pakistan to meet in the final again."
While another India versus Pakistan final in the T20 World Cup would be a dream headline event for most, there is still a long way to go in the tournament.
Pakistan will face New Zealand on 26 October, while India will look to get their first win of the campaign when they face the Kiwis on October 31.