Brilliant Bumrah helps India escape to victory



India celebrate after Rizwan’s wicket, T20 World Cup 2024 (PC: Debasis Sen)

How did Pakistan lose this game? They had to score 120 in 20 overs, and even on a tricky pitch, it was a fairly easy chase. They were 80-3 after 14 overs. From there, they did the most Pakistani thing and lost the game. They have lost their winning DNA.

Like last year’s 50-over World Cup match in Ahmedabad, Mohammad Rizwan’s dismissal triggered a collapse in New York as well. Yet again, the Pakistan opener picked the wrong bowler to up the ante. An ugly cross-batted heave to a length delivery was neither here nor there. He was bowled neck and crop.

In the end, Pakistan lost by six runs. But the narrow margin of defeat didn’t tell the entire story. Babar Azam’s team lost because winning mentality seems to have deserted them.

Huge credit to the Indian bowlers for the way they bowled at the death. Given an inch by their rivals, they took a mile. Bumrah (3-14) was outstanding. Hardik Pandya chipped in with a couple of important wickets. Just five runs were conceded in the 17th over followed by nine in the 18th and three in the 19th. The game was won there.

India got out of jail because they played against a mediocre team. But going ahead, they have some serious issues to address if they want to win the tournament.

Their batting reeked of arrogance. It embraced recklessness at the expense of common sense. They could have fallen prey to their hubris.

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Babar Azam vs India, T20 World Cup 2024 (PC: Debasis Sen)

From 89-3 after 11 overs, India were 119 all out at the end of 19th. Some poor shots were played. Even at the death, when batting for full 20 overs became the need of the hour, Pandya went for glory and was caught at the deep. India batted like a one-trick pony. They somehow escaped to victory.

This was not the IPL. India weren’t facing Ireland’s bowling. The four-pronged Pakistan pace attack comprising Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir and Haris Rauf oozed quality and experience. Rohit Sharma had lost the toss and his team had to bat first on a dampish pitch. India should have respected the opposition and the conditions. They didn’t.

Without Rishabh Pant’s airy-fairy 42 off 31 balls, India probably would have been bowled out for less than 100. The wicketkeeper-batsman was on the attack mode throughout. He had several reprieves and eventually played one big shot too many.

Shivam Dube looked a misfit at international level. Not because of the fact that he scored three off nine balls before being out caught and bowled by Naseem. The fact of the matter is that the southpaw struggled to put bat to ball against Pakistan’s fast bowlers. He never looked confident. To make matters worse, he dropped a sitter to give Rizwan a charmed life, when the batsman was on seven.

Dube was setting the stadiums alight for Chennai Super Kings. But international cricket is a different ball game and with the advantage of hindsight, picking him in the 15-man squad at the expense of Rinku Singh was a mistake. To accommodate him in the playing XI in place of Yashasvi Jaiswal wasn’t a smart move either. Hopefully, the Indian team management will do the course correction going ahead.

The ICC put in efforts to make the New York pitch better. But Sunday morning rain forced the surface to go under wraps. So, it became a bit damp. Rain also forced a delayed start and when it returned after the first over, it caused further delay.

Team India vs Pakistan, T20 World Cup 2024 (PC: Debasis Sen)

In overcast conditions, the ball was still moving in the air, although movement off the deck was less prodigious compared to the previous games at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium. The pitch was a bit slow. It was a bit two-paced and the odd ball stopped. It was never a 180 surface and caution needed to be mixed with aggression. Indian batsmen refused to do that.

Virat Kohli played a gorgeous cover drive off Naseem, but got out in the same over, slapping a widish delivery straight to Usman Khan at cover-point. Just before the delivery, the gully was removed and Usman was placed in that position.

Rohit hit a delightful six off Shaheen in the first over. But his next pick-up shot against the bowler found Rauf at deep square leg. Axar Patel at No. 4 was building a steady partnership with Pant, but he charged down the track against Naseem and missed a straight delivery to be out bowled. He misjudged the length, and it was poor shot selection.

Suryakumar Yadav scooped a Rauf delivery to Amir at mid-off. Rather than playing along the ground past the fielder for a couple, he tried to hit a boundary. India were aiming for a big score, when 140-150 was the par total on this surface.

Pant was riding his luck. He played some innovative shots, including an audacious falling flick off Rauf, all right, but after Dube’s dismissal, he probably should have shown a bit of restraint. Amir’s delivery stuck in the pitch, but Pant still didn’t check his shot, giving Babar an easy catch at deep mid-off. Ravindra Jadeja departed next ball and India imploded.

For Pakistan, both Naseem (3-21) and Rauf (3-21) took three wickets apiece. Amir bagged a couple. Their efforts went in vain.

Also Read: Why not Jaiswal at the top in this T20 World Cup?

The post Brilliant Bumrah helps India escape to victory appeared first on Sports News Portal | Latest Sports Articles | Revsports.


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