India have begun on the wrong note though the chase was full of spirit. A little more application could have run Pakistan close though a team really doesn’t deserve to lose after making a 300-plus total.
The stuff from Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf was top class. India’s bowlers were ragged and they ended up conceding almost 200 runs from the final 25 overs.
In the next 48 hours they would gather again at the Centurion against Australia. It’s a must-win game and the bowlers would keep Dhoni awake. I would be surprised if there is no change in the bowling line-up on Monday. Someone has to give way for India can't afford to lose. Two spinners and two medium-pacers with Abhishek Nayar as back-up seamer could be the way forward.
This was Pakistan’s only second win against India in an ICC event. Surprises happened elsewhere too. England stumped Lanka, the presence of Malinga, Muralitharan and Mendis notwithstanding, and Australia just about saved the day against the West Indies. Pakistan alone have their nose ahead, but otherwise the field looks quite open in the race to the semi-finals.
The tie-ups ahead would only get interesting. South Africa against England and India against Australia would clear the picture. But one could have a situation where there is a three-way tie in both the groups and one-day cricket couldn't have had a better advertisement than this happening in the Champions Trophy.