In a heart-wrenching T20 World Cup 2024 match in New York, the Pakistan cricket team succumbed to a narrow six-run defeat against arch-rivals India. Despite being in a commanding position, Pakistan crumbled spectacularly, proving once again that inconsistency remains their biggest enemy.

Bumrah Led A Collapse to Remember

Chasing a modest target of 120, Pakistan needed just 40 runs off the last 36 balls with seven wickets in hand against India. The match was practically in the bag, with the ‘Win Predictor’ giving the Green Shirts a 93% chance of victory. But in a shocking turn of events, batters lost their nerve and went into the defensive shell.

Jasprit Bumrah’s disciplined bowling made the difference for India as he sparked a collapse that left fans in disbelief. His skill and calmness under pressure were on full display.

He tricked Mohammad Rizwan into a poor shot, leading to his dismissal for 31 off 44 balls. This was the turning point. Rizwan’s wicket exposed the fragility of the batting lineup.

Although Rizwan played slowly, his innings was important as an anchoring batter was required on this tricky pitch to let the team play around him.

Source: Cricinfo

Bumrah, who had already removed Babar Azam earlier, took out the final hope, Iftikhar Ahmed, in the 19th over. He bowled 15 dot balls during his four overs, exhibiting a masterclass in T20 bowling.

Disappointing Batting

Captain Babar Azam, once again failed to lead from the front. After scoring a mere 13 runs, he fell to Bumrah in the fifth over, trying to play a casual shot. As a senior player and captain, Babar should have shown more responsibility and grit.

The middle order was nothing short of a disaster. Usman Khan, a recent import from UAE, looked out of place. After scoring 13 runs, he was trapped lbw by Axar Patel. His performance raises serious questions about his place in the team as well as his readiness for international cricket.

Fakhar Zaman, another seasoned player, showed his usual recklessness. At a critical juncture, he attempted an unnecessary big shot and got out, leaving Pakistan in shambles. He needs to understand that ‘showing intent’ does not mean playing aggressively every time.

New York pitch demanded batting masterclass and patience, the target was only 120, not 220, and there was no need to go for ‘forced’ big shots. But that’s how Zaman plays, on his day he can win you impossible games, and when not, he can bottle easy games.

Mohammad Rizwan pakistan-batting-lineup-crumbles-against-india
Source: Cricinfo

Moving on, Imad Wasim, supposedly Pakistan’s best finisher, was forced to come out of retirement because we needed a senior all-rounder. He came out to bat with 47 required off 46, a tailor-made situation for a player like Wasim. But he scored a scratchy 15 off 23 balls, failing to support the team when it mattered most.

In a last-ditch effort, Naseem Shah, visibly emotional, managed a quick 10-run cameo off 4 balls. But it was too late. The damage had been done.

Our bowlers did their job brilliantly, bundling out India’s strong batting lineup for just 119 runs. Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf took three wickets each. But their efforts were in vain as the batsmen failed spectacularly.

What’s Next For Pakistan After Losing To India?

This loss is not just a setback; it’s a humiliation. Pakistan had the match in their hands but let it slip away due to poor batting and lack of composure. The team needs serious scrutiny. The USA loss was a wake-up call, but this defeat should ring alarm bells throughout the cricketing setup.

The loss against India has left Pakistan facing an uphill battle to qualify for the next round of the T20 World Cup 2024. They must defeat Canada and Ireland convincingly and hope for the USA to lose their matches. The team’s performance must improve dramatically to avoid further embarrassment.

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