India handled pressure better

Lakshmipathy Balaji and MS Dhoni  celebrate  the dismissal  of Shahid Afridi during the ICC T20 World Cup cricket match, Super Eight group between India and Pakistan at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Photo: Ajay Aggarwal/Hindustan Times

Pakistan will have to wait, no one knows for how long, to beat India in a World Cup match. Their best chance came and went on Sunday.

India had lost to Australia, were literally thrashed, and were on the verge of getting knocked out. The team was not in the best frame of mind, as one could make out from the reports coming out from the camp. In such a scenario, Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat. For me, the game turned from there on.

India's weak point is their bowling. If you set a target of 175, they have the batting power to chase it down. But if you ask them to set a target, they are bound to have a dilemma.

In trying to search for a safe target, there would have been some extra urgency in the minds of the India batters which could have helped the Pakistan bowlers, especially the spinners.

What happened was the other way round. Pakistan batted first, started in a whirlwind fashion and the moment they lost two wickets, the pressure returned. When the captain is opening and he goes into a shell, the pressure percolates down.

There is one more area where Pakistan fell behind. India had seniors like Dhoni, Sehwag, Zaheer, Yuvraj and Gambhir, who know how to handle pressure at this level. Pakistan didn't have that, and fell apart. Pakistan will have to come out of their shell quickly as they will be up against Australia, who are in blazing form.
360 Corporate Relations

The writer is ex-Pakistan captain


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