As the highly anticipated India vs. Pakistan World Cup match approaches, the atmosphere in Ahmedabad is reaching a fever pitch. With hotels almost sold out and flight tickets soaring, it’s evident that this blockbuster fixture on October 15 at the Narendra Modi Stadium will be the highlight of the tournament. Notably, it marks Pakistan’s return to playing an international match in India after a decade-long absence, making it all the more special.
The recent encounters between India and Pakistan have been thrilling, with three out of the last four matches going down to the wire, producing nail-biting finishes. However, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly’s recent comments about the matches being one-sided in India’s favor have sparked controversy. Ganguly stated that the quality of these matches has diminished due to India’s dominant victories.
Ganguly’s assessment didn’t sit well with Pakistani fans, as they vividly recall Pakistan’s strong challenge to India in the 2021 T20 World Cup, where they secured a convincing 10-wicket win. In response, former Pakistani batter Basit Ali expressed his surprise and disagreement with Ganguly’s claim. While he acknowledged Ganguly’s contributions to Indian cricket as a player and administrator, Basit presented some compelling facts to counter Ganguly’s argument.
Basit emphasized that since 2017, India vs. Pakistan matches have been more competitive, with Pakistan securing victories in crucial encounters, including the T20 World Cup in UAE and the Asia Cup. He acknowledged India’s win in the T20 World Cup in Australia, attributing it to Virat Kohli’s exceptional innings. Basit praised Kohli for delivering what he believes was the best-ever T20 innings.
“I read Sourav Ganguly’s statement and was quite shocked. Ganguly, the ex-BCCI president, has played top-class cricket and was a fabulous captain who developed a lot of players. I don’t agree with him saying that India vs. Pakistan matches are one-sided in favor of India. No doubt you have beaten us a lot in ICC World Cups before, but that hasn’t been the case since 2017. We beat India at the T20 World Cup in UAE and last year in the Asia Cup, won one and lost one. Yes, India defeated Pakistan at the T20 World Cup in Australia, but that was purely because of Virat Kohli. He won it single-handedly. The best-ever T20 innings,” Basit said on his YouTube channel.
Undoubtedly, in the last decade, India had a clear upper hand over Pakistan in various ICC tournaments, including the 2014 T20 World Cup, 2015 World Cup, World T20, and the league stage of the 2017 Champions Trophy. However, under the leadership of Babar Azam, Pakistan has transformed into a formidable side, challenging India and giving them a tough fight.
Basit also disagreed with Ganguly’s claim that the India vs. Australia match is higher quality and more appealing. While acknowledging the rivalry between India and Australia, Basit highlighted the significance of the India vs. Pakistan clash, often referred to as the mother of all battles.
“He also said that India vs. Australia is a bigger crowd puller than India vs. Pakistan. To that, I would just want to say, ‘ Brother, when India plays Australia, are roads in your country empty? No. They are empty whenever there’s an India-Pakistan match between India and Pakistan. Everyone is glued to their TV screen and is praying. Look at the ticket prices for the World Cup; India-Australia costs are nowhere close to India-Pakistan’s. So I feel that DADA ji is just trying to play mind games,” added Basit.