Pakistan's resounding 140-run loss to India, their biggest ever in terms of runs, has predictably gone down badly back home. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf sent out a strong mail to his team manager Talat Ali asking him to explain the heavy loss.
Ali, on Thursday after his team's lengthy practice session, faced some difficult questions from the Pakistani journalists. "It happens every now and again," Ali said about Ashraf's email. "There is nothing new to it. The way it looks like, you (media) are making a big issue out of it. This is not the first time that the chairman has written a mail to the team. He has the right to ask me anything and it is nothing abnormal."
When asked for the details of the mail, which was published in a Pakistani daily on Thursday, Ali said: "I am not going to divulge the details. It is a PCB matter and Ashraf is the chairman. When we win, we do analyse the victory and when we lose also we analyse the defeat. It’s normal that people ask what went wrong with this kind of performance."
Malik’s fitness and bowling changes were dissected after the loss to India. The questions centred around why Malik, did not use himself as a bowler. Malik's fitness was also questioned in that game. "Malik bowled for one hour in the middle today and he is fit. Also, he scored 53 in that game. Can anyone score 53 if he is unfit?" asked Ali.
‘Gambhir plays with his heart’
MS Dhoni said that the pitch used for the game on Thursday was flatter than the one two nights ago. “The pitch was very good today as compared to the one against Pakistan,” Dhoni said. “Having said that, no win is easy. You have to score more than the opposition. It is always hard work.”
The Indian captain said he always had faith in Gambhir's abilities. “We have played together from India ‘A’ and always had the confidence in him. I have always regarded him as a batsman who plays from the heart.”
Contrary to expectations, only one change was made for this game. "The ultimate aim is to win. You can make one or two changes. Batsmen who did not get a chance in the previous game too had to get opportunity. What matters in the end is a winning combination," Dhoni said.