The rivalry between two cricketing nations can be sensed around the world. Both want to win and prove their worth to their people. They want to attain momentum which will last long enough if not till 29th March 2015. PAK has never beaten India in a World Cup match. It’s PAK who can rise to the occasion & earn a memorable victory. At the same time; India will cash on every possible trick they have used in last five matches to continue the winning streak.
So, who will be the winner of this epic encounter? This is a very subjective question and I don’t have that much time to debate on which team is better; leave aside the winner.
I wold like to discuss what PAK has to do differently to beat the arch rival.
Learning the lesson:
It’s imperative to learn from your past mistakes and find your opportunities areas. Because if you don’t learn from your mistakes, it’s so humanely possible that you will repeat them consciously/unconsciously. PAK lost the World Cup semifinal in 2011 because of the following:
- How can you win a match, when you are dropping four catches of a World Class Batsman like SRT?
- When PAK lost Kamran Akmal , Mohd. Hafeez & Asad Shafiq they were batting brilliantly. The scoring rate was brilliant & PAK looked in control? Then, Mohd. Hafeez tried playing a stupid shot which forced PAK to go in to the defensive mode. Don’t take my words, Here is what ESPNCricInfo wrote in their live commentary.
- (15.3 125.6 kph, What was Hafeez thinking? Again, yet again, a lovely 30 -40 and he has combusted. He went for a paddle sweep, yeah a paddle sweep, to a full delivery outside off stump and edged it to Dhoni. Oh dear. Pressure? or over confidence? 70/2)
- Asad was playing brilliantly until Mohd. Hafeez was on the non-striker end. After Hafeez departure; Asad tried playing a cut shot whereas the ball was too full. He had no room to play that shot; also the ball was full. He had no time to play that kind of a shot. The only reason he played that shot was because a part timer (Yuvraj Singh) was bowling. How could Asad undermine the part timer who was taking so many wickets throughout the world cup?
These are two very keen observations which will translate in to 1.) Poor Fielding 2.) Poor shot selection. The same pattern can be seen from the 2003 Centurion epic encounter. When Abdul Razzaq dropped SRT while Wasim Akram was bowling, SRT went on to play the most memorable innings we all have seen. If that catch was taken, It could have been a different result for team PAK. Even if you recall, 1996 WC match Aamir Sohail was dictating the terms. But he got into a verbal spat with Venktesh telling him where he is going to score the next boundary and then we saw a mediocre bowler turning in to a match winner. Aamir was in control but he just went for a trash talk to showcasing his competitiveness which turned in to a Global Shame for the whole PAK cricket team.
Can they learn from their mistakes? I don’t know, but the time will.