India Vs Pakistan – Why We Lost The 2017 Champions Trophy – Strategy With RS

1992 repeated itself in 2017!

In 1992 Pakistan were underdogs but went on to win the World Cup; in 2017 they were again underdogs – ranked last & have gone on to win the 2017 Champions Trophy!

I am sharing my take on why we lost:

1. Unpardonable ‘no ball’: An unfortunate no-ball from Jasprit Bumrah gave Fakhar Zaman (batting on 3) a life & he went on to score a century which helped Pakistan put up an impressive total. A no-ball at this level – unpardonable!

2. Missed run-out chances: In the 1st 10 overs as many as 3 runs out chances went a-begging. At this level, missing out on so many run out chances comes with a price! Yesterday, it translated into losing the CT!

3. Bountiful extras: Normally, the sobriquet of wayward bowling is associated with Pakistani bowlers. Yesterday, they were disciplined – they merely conceded 3 runs as extras: LB: 2 & WD: 1. While Indian bowlers were more wayward – they generously conceded as many as 25 runs as extras – LB: 9, WD:13, NB: 3, with Bumrah giving away 4 leg side bytes in the 1st 3 over.

4. Spinners fail to deliver: Both Ashwin (0/70) & Jadeja (0/67 in 8 overs) were ineffective. If that’s the case, a question begs to answer – why is Ashwin so effective in Test Cricket? Because, in Test Cricket he bowls attacking line, which did not seem to be the case that day!

5. Form not reputation may be used while selecting the final 11: Yes Ashwin ranks near the top as a Test bowler. But his performance in the last 6 ODIs has not been inspiring – 0/60, 0/63, 3/65, 0/60, 1/43 & 0/54. But the argument against this point is that a great player is just 1 match away from regaining form!

6. Middle order batting crumbles: India prides itself on its middle order batting power. Hardik Pandya showed glimpses of it by scoring the fastest ever 50 in any ICC Tournament final – he went on to score 76 runs in merely 43 balls! But he failed to inspire his teammates who seemed to crumble under pressure!

7. Cricket is a mind game: Did the dismissal of Rohit Sharma & Virat Kohli put the famed Indian batting line-up under pressure. Yesterday it seemed so – except for Hardik Pandya who showed belligerence on Pakistani bowlers as well as to everything that came his way as he walked back to the pavilion. The boundary rope was an inadvertent victim of his anger & frustration!

Bottom-line: Cricket is often referred to as a game of glorious uncertainty; while the Pakistan team has earned the sobriquet of being the most unpredictable team. Now mix uncertainty with unpredictability & the result was there for the world to witness live!