India lost to Pakistan || India vs Pakistan Review
All others are just common matches, this is the battle. India vs Pakistan is always been this, so many expectations, so much pressure on the players and so much noise. Cricket has become a way of representing the tension between the two neighbors. The situation was different when there were regular ODI and test series between the two but now when we don't have any series, no Pakistan players in IPL and no Indian player can play other T20 leagues, world cups are the only stages where we can watch the rivalry. This was the big day, I was waiting for this for a long time, for years to say, here it was yesterday.
Before the match
India had finished IPL just before the match and all the players were in form. In the two warm-up matches, India had beaten England and Australia two of the mightiest teams of the world cup. We thought we know the pitches very well, we now know every situation and every condition. The confidence was high as it should be.
In Worldcups, India had been never defeated by Pakistan before last night. In seven encounters in T20 world, we had won all sevens, including the ball-out win in the first match of the first T20 WorldCup. So we wanted to repeat the history, we didn't want to give them any chance to celebrate. TV anchors were high, they were publicizing this more than anything. The Mauka-Mauka ad was on repeat on every channel. And I think they got the profit. About 1.5 crore people were watching it live on Hotstar.
But don't forget about the opposition team, cricket was off Pakistan for a long time, because of the way terrorism was rising, none wanted to visit Pakistan. So they shifted their home to UAE, this was the ground they beat Australia. So I can say Pakistan had played more matches on these grounds than India. They had the home advantage.
The weakness our opposition had was their batting. They don't have enough batting in the deep, if you got their openers out they are done. Fakhar can be a big name but after the top 3 they are scattered you can easily take them down and that's where India failed.
Shaheen's starting spell
When I started to watch the match Rohit Sharma was on strike and Shaheen Afridi was bowling. He bowled a full delivery it came in sharply in the air and hit Sharma on the pad. I was disappointed at the right moment. I thought we lost. Later in the third over, Shaheen scattered the stumps to send KL Rahul back. Rohit was a pray of mother of all inswinging yorkers and KL Rahul was beaten by a furious unplayable inswinging length ball.
Shaheen's intentions were clear from the first ball to use the swing as much as possible. He has got the pace, he has got the swing. Let me tell you this youngster is in the legacy of Waqar-Shoeb-Amir. The next big name in the fast bowling world.
With the spinner as well Pakistan always looked to attack. Surya looked in good touch, he even hit a six to a short ball off shahin when he was high on heels. And there was a fielder in the deep square too, he hit above his head. I thought in his first WorldCup match, Surya is going to shine. But Hasan got him caught behind as Rizwan took a stunner. His feet were glued to the ground.
I don't really make wishes to god that India win, but this time I did. I asked God that will India win this match today and I kind of get the answer- 'yup, India will win!!'