"They tried their best to lose this game" - Shoaib Akhtar slams Pakistan for six-run defeat to India in 2024 T20 World Cup clash

India v Pakistan - ICC Men
India v Pakistan - ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar slammed the side for throwing away an easy win after a six-run defeat to India in the 2024 T20 World Cup encounter in New York on June 9. Chasing a mere 120 for victory, the Men in Green got themselves to a comfortable 73/3 in 12 overs, requiring only 47 off 48 deliveries.

Yet, they fell apart in the final eight overs to finish at 113/7 in 20 overs and suffer a second straight loss to begin their campaign. The shocking defeat puts Pakistan on the brink of elimination should they not have several favorable results in the remaining matches in Group A.

Speaking to PTV Sports after the game ended, Akhtar was shocked by Pakistan's inept batting collapse to concede the win to India.

"I think we should give credit to Pakistan. They tried their best to lose this game. I could not think any other way. If you look at Pakistan's middle-order and the whole batting order, it was just run-a-ball. Nobody asked you to hit, go across the line, do anything stupid. But, we made sure the match that could have been won easily by us. We refused to win it. Shocking, surprising," Akhtar said.

Another former Pakistan cricketer Younis Khan was critical of their batting, especially the openers, Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam.

"For me, one of the batters must stay and finish the job. Rizwan had the chance to finish it but unfortunately, he couldn't finish it. When you're chasing, we have seen one batter play in the end. We always say Babar and Rizwan should improve. What's that improvement? We keep on saying, what they need to differently. When you look at Virat Kohli or someone like Jos Buttler, when they play a long innings, they finish the game," stated Younis.

While Babar Azam fell for a 10-ball 13, Rizwan threw away his wicket after being well-set for 31 off 44 deliveries. Yet, apart from Rizwan, no other Pakistan batter even reached 16, choking away a relatively simple run-chase.

"Pakistan have a mental block" - Mohammad Hafeez

Former Pakistan batter and coach Mohammad Hafeez felt the side had a mental block against India, resulting in such defeats.

In eight T20 World Cup meetings between the sides, the Men in Blue have come out on top on seven occasions. Pakistan have also never defeated India in ODI World Cups.

"India vs Pakistan isn't a game about skills. The match is won with the mindset. Pakistan have a mental block. Even during my time, we lost to India not because of lack of skills, but due to the mentality. We talked about Naseem Shah's mindset. Why did our normal batters not show the same mindset?" said Hafeez.

The India defeat comes after Pakistan were shell-shocked in a Super Over by co-hosts USA in their tournament opener.

Babar Azam's Men will take on Canada in their next outing in New York on Tuesday, June 11.

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