The ICC ODI World Cup 2023 witnessed a much-anticipated match between India and Pakistan, two cricketing giants. Pakistan, led by the dynamic Babar Azam, had a promising start, but things took a dramatic turn, leaving former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar profoundly disappointed.
At the beginning of the game, Pakistan was in good form. The top-order batters displayed finesse and resilience, building a solid platform for their innings. The scorecard reflected their promising start as they cruised to 155-2. The crowd was excited, anticipating a riveting contest between bat and ball.
However, cricket is a game of uncertainties, and just when things were looking bright for Pakistan, the match took a sudden turn. The dismissals of critical players Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan triggered a catastrophic collapse of the batting order. The remaining batters faltered, and the wickets tumbled like a set of nine pins.
In a shocking turn of events, Pakistan, cruising at 155-2, was bundled out for a mere 191 runs in 42.5 overs. The collapse left fans, experts, and former players like Shoaib Akhtar bewildered and disheartened.
Shoaib Akhtar, known for his express pace during his playing days, couldn’t hide his disappointment. He turned to social media to express his despair and frustration. In a video message, he lamented how the Pakistani team missed a golden opportunity, especially given the favorable batting conditions.
He emphasized that Pakistan failed to capitalize on these conditions primarily because the team needed more talent and skills to score substantially. Akhtar was critical of Pakistan’s poor batting approach, highlighting that the batters resorted to too many cross-batted shots, ultimately leading to their downfall.
He praised Rohit Sharma, the Indian captain, for his exceptional performance, emphasizing that he is a complete batsman with a wide range of shots.
In his own words, Akhtar expressed, “Disappointing performance… a very disappointing performance. Today, India completely hammered Pakistan. Rohit Sharma was a one-person army. I don’t know where Rohit Sharma was in the last couple of years. He is a very big player and has a wide range of shots. He is a complete batter, a complete team.”
Rohit Sharma’s performance in the match left everyone in awe. Akhtar marveled at Sharma’s ability to dominate Pakistan’s bowling attack single-handedly. He pointed out that Sharma avenged his underwhelming performances with a stellar innings that humiliated the Pakistani bowlers.
What a waste of opportunity on a great batting wicket. Disappointed. Very disappointed. pic.twitter.com/2EnC1z9zni— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) October 14, 2023
Shoaib Akhtar was pleased to see Rohit Sharma back in form, precisely smashing the bowlers. He questioned Pakistan’s tactics, highlighting their decision to play with only four specialist batters and needing a substantial middle-order. He criticized the absence of spinners in the lineup, suggesting that this contributed to Pakistan’s downfall.
Akhtar also praised Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, noting his ability to lead the Indian team effectively, especially after being put on the back foot. He acknowledged the spinners’ crucial role in creating opportunities and keeping the Pakistani batters on their toes.
“The kind of innings he played humiliated Pakistan’s bowling attack. He took revenge for the last two years, where he didn’t get many runs. It’s good to see Rohit Sharma back; he did right to smash the bowlers. What’s necessary to finish the game at the last overs and take it deep? Rohit hammered the bowlers. What did Pakistan think by playing four batters, no middle-order, no spinners, no nothing,” he concluded.