6-0; the number changed from 5-0. Many were expecting to change in to 5-1 but what can we say it just did not happened and wait for WC2019 in England. But the chase behind the numbers is not finished and the big numbers are yet to be focused.
In this post lets talk about the match which started around 8:00 am Pakistan time and only cricket can wake up Pakistanis on Sundays from their beds. India had won the toss and elected to bat first. They started with a defensive mode and make sure they don’t loose too many wickets; precisely not more than 2 in their first 15 overs which they achieved. They lost Rohit Sharma in 7th over but they manage to keep wickets in hands which was important for them I will tell u later why? Indian batsman was missing Sachin, Sehwag and Yuvraj as said in my previous post but their new ones have showed great character, discipline, and professionalism in high voltage game. For Kholi this match was very important; who was struggling to score runs and had not scored more than 20 runs in his last 6 inning. And Adelaide is just a perfect place to get back to his form. He scored well knock of 107 off 126 balls yet is still questionable because that has no sixes and strike rate was under 100 despite he was well settled in batting Power play. But the strike rate was makeup by Suresh Raina who is known as a T20 specialist and scored 74 off 56 balls which filled the gap and able Indian cricket team to put a total of 301 runs on board. It is worth mentioning that Dhawan also played run a ball long inning which helped India to put on a good total. Meanwhile Pakistan Team bowling did a good job, by giving only 82 runs in the last 10 overs of Indian Inning which is a recovery because Indian team had wickets in hand and can done more damage so many experts do believe that Indian batting were 20-30 runs short after playing solidly in middle overs courtesy off ineffective bowling in middle overs. Sohail Khan picked fifer and he bowled well in depth overs and has justified why he is taken there. Old ball suits him he might be more effective if there is only one new ball instead of two but that is another rule. It is also to mention that Umer Akmal dropped the catch of Kholi although he scored more than 70 at that stage but runs do matter. And he could be more damaging if he had been scoring and clicking before this match. Yet he did some great damage for the opponents.
Although Indians were 20-30 runs short but they were playing against Pakistan who have not chased more than 250 runs since last many years. The pitch was perfect for batsman who knows how to time the ball and has proved it in the art of Kholi. Pakistan team started with Younus Khan and Ahmed Shehzad and lost wicket of Younus Khan. Many think Younus should not be in the team I will discuss and try to defend why he should be in the team. Shehzad was unable to made to convert his 40’s in to 100’s courtesy of immaturity. Haris Sohail came in to pressure after playing lots of dot balls and was caught by Raina courtesy of fine spin of Ashwin. Wickets fumble in quick session Maqsood and Umer Akmal gone for duck and the middle order was certainly change in to one army i.e Misbah ul Haq. Afridi came and every one was expecting that he will do something which may change the history but it was just not enough from the top order that he could continue.Although if he keep his composure and if he and Misbah take the match till 40 which could make Indian bowling lineup to feel the pressure. And who knows history could change. Just like 2011 WC Pakistan chased poorly and it was Misbah who was playing till last and at last he gave up his wicket.
But the road to WC is not yet ended for Pakistan nor India will cruise it without any obstacles. There real test will be next week against South Africa where 300 will not be just enough to defend by Indian bowling in those conditions.
IMPORTANT PICKS FOR PAKISTAN FROM TODAY’S MATCH:
- Pick a specialist Wicket keeper batsman from next match. Yes talking about Sarfraz Ahmed.
- Use bowlers sensibly in middle overs. It can be done with giving short spells and variations.
- Good placement of fielders and try not to give singles in middle overs. Make opponent to go for aerial approach which possess risk and can help to cash wickets in middle overs.
- Younus can only play as an opener in these conditions so stop being annoyed with that strategy. Khan saab try to click the ball from the middle off the bat. I know, just like Kholi this guy can convert his 30 in to 70 and 100’s. And he is one of the few player currently in Pakistan who can do this. We see Shehzad who thrash his wickets after getting his well settle 40 and same with Akmal and Maqsood.
- Use fit fast bowlers. If Irfan is not 100% fit he must not be the part of 11. Because if he become an asset with his bowling for Pakistan; he might become asset for opponents if he is not fit. Use Rahat Ali he can swing both ways.
- Misbah should play at 4 as the way he did. I think if some one support him when he came; match could change for Pakistan. Pakistan team should do home work on this. I don’t know who should play at 3?? you tell……
I hope Pakistan qualify for quarter finals which is very important to keep WC dream alive. And to make that dream alive they need to win WI match else it would be very difficult to reach to the Quarter Finals..