India suffered an embarrassing 10-wicket defeat at the hands of Pakistan and will now face New Zealand on October 31 aiming to put their campaign back on track. For all intents and purposes, considering the three other teams in India’s group (Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia) are much lower ranked, the India vs NZ clash could well be a do or die affair for both teams.
Chasing India’s 151, Pakistan openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan produced a batting masterclass. Azam (68* off 52) and Rizwan (79* off 55) chased down the target without losing a wicket and with 13 balls to spare.
(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
The win was Pakistan’s first win in 13 World Cup matches (ODI and T20I combined) against India (7 in the 50 over World Cup and six in the Twenty20 World Cup). This was the first time that India lost a T20I by 10 wickets and also the first time that Pakistan won a T20I by the same margin.
The big question is will Team India bounce back after a demoralising loss in their opening encounter. If history is anything to go by though, this Indian team is more than capable of bouncing back hard. Yusuf Pathan echoed that sentiment.
“It won’t be difficult for India to make a comeback. These guys are so talented and have experience and have played good cricket. These guys are hardworking cricketers. Virat and his men know how to handle pressure, so it won’t be difficult for them to make a comeback and beat New Zealand. We all need to support Team India. I am confident India will do well against NZ,” Pathan said while responding to a question sent by TimesofIndia.com.
“We have lost just one match (vs Pakistan) and that doesn’t mean that we are out of the tournament. This is a big tournament and we have to go a long way. There are other matches coming our way. You may still see India enter the final from here and lift the winning trophy. It’s not fair to question this Indian team on the basis of just one defeat. These guys can win the World Cup from here. They know how to make a comeback. I want India to win the World Cup from here,” Pathan, who was part of the MS Dhoni-led team that won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, further told TimesofIndia.com.
One of the biggest questions staring Team India in the face ahead of their extremely crucial clash vs the Kiwis is – will Hardik Pandya be able to bowl? Many feel that if Hardik is not able to bowl, he should make way for someone else in the playing XI and that playing him as a specialist batsman doesn’t make much sense, especially considering the fact that Hardik had a well below par outing with the bat in the last completed edition of the IPL, managing to score just 127 runs in 12 matches.
In the opening World Cup match vs Pakistan Hardik scored just 11 runs off 8 balls, batting at number 7.
According to Pathan, if an all-rounder can’t bowl, he shouldn’t be in the team.
“An all-rounder plays a big role in a team. He can be a match-winner either with bat or ball or with both. If a cricketer is unfit then I don’t think so he should be included in the team. If a player, who is selected as an all-rounder, says he won’t bowl, then he shouldn’t be included in the team,” he said.
“There are many players who can take that place. If you have to replace someone at number 6 who is an allrounder, you will replace him with an allrounder. You have Ishan (Kishan). We have seen his performance in the IPL. You have Shardul (Thakur) who is emerging as a good allrounder. You have Shreyas Iyer too. These three guys have performed really well in recent years,” Pathan said.
Pathan, who scored 4,852 runs and took 99 wickets in T20 (non international) cricket and scored 236 runs and took 13 wickets in T20Is, is all set to feature in the Abu Dhabi T10, scheduled to be played from November 19 2021.
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On being asked about what his approach will be in the T10 format, Pathan said: “My approach to T10 will be the same I have had for other formats. I will play my natural game. I’ll put my strategies in place according to the pitches in Abu Dhabi. We’ll need to score at a quicker rate in T10, so I am practicing accordingly. It’s important to adapt to the conditions as well.”