World Cup 2019: Three mistakes that cost Pakistan the match against India
Cricket’s most hyped encounter began at Old Trafford with the threat of rain playing in everyone’s brain. Coming into this game, India were still unbeaten in the tournament while Pakistan had lost a well-fought encounter against Australia. India was looking to extend their dominance against Pakistan in World Cup encounters by registering their 7th victory against arch-rivals.
On a dry surface, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bowl first. For India, Shikhar Dhawan’s injury meant that KL Rahul was promoted to open the batting with Vijay Shankar batting at number 4. Pakistan dropped Shaheen Afridi and replaced him with the left arm spinner Imad Wasim.
India began their innings in a controlled manner as they saw off Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali without much fuss. Rohit Sharma looked in great touch and cruised to his fastest half-century in ODI cricket. After the fall of Rahul, Virat Kohli provided ample support to Rohit and kept the scoreboard ticking. Rohit departed for 140, his second century in this World Cup and Pandya joined Kohli at the crease. Amir bowled brilliantly in the death overs but India finished with a very competitive score of 336/5.
Chasing a monumental target of 337, Pakistan struggled to get going in the initial overs. Bhuvneshwar’s injury came as a blessing in disguise for India as Vijay Shankar removed Imam-ul-Haq in his very first ball. Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman stitched together a century partnership and brought Pakistan back into the game.
Just when the pair was threatening to take the game away from India, Kuldeep Yadav bowled an absolute peach to knock off Babar Azam. He dismissed Fakhar Zaman in his next over and this spell completely took the momentum off Pakistan’s run chase.
Hardik Pandya effectively ended the match by dismissing Hafeez and Malik in back to back deliveries. Due to rain intervention, the match was reduced to 40 overs and India won comfortably by 89 runs. Here are the 3 mistakes that proved to be costly for Pakistan.
#1 Lack of planning against Rohit Sharma
By now it has become common knowledge that bowling short to Rohit Sharma won’t be effective irrespective of the conditions and the bowler’s skills. His immaculate ability to pull the ball off the front foot itself makes it easier for him to counter the short ball strategy. It is also very well known that he is suspect to the moving ball early in his innings.
Irrespective of all these established facts, Pakistan new ball bowlers hardly tried to swing the new ball by pitching it full against Rohit. Hasan Ali did get some movement off the surface but it just wasn’t enough to trouble him. The Pakistani bowlers allowed him to cut and pull effectively and they paid the price for it at the end of the day. Even the spinners failed to trouble him with flight and dip and opted to bowl a lot flatter to him.
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