Champions Trophy: India undone by perfect cricket from Pakistan - Adam Gilchrist
Former Australia great Adam Gilchrist has said Pakistan played a perfect game in thrashing India by 180 runs in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final on Sunday to clinch the title for the first time.icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 19, 2017 18:29 IST
Pakistan were rank outsiders at the start of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. After a heavy loss to India in their first game at Edgbaston, Sarfraz Ahmed’s side bounced back in style as they registered wins over South Africa and Sri Lanka. In the semi-final, they shocked England and then stunned the cricketing world on Sunday when they thrashed India by 180 runs in the final at the Oval, clinching the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time.
Pakistan have become the fourth team, after India, West Indies and Sri Lanka, to complete a treble of ICC tournament wins.
Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist has said India were undone by a Pakistan team that got everything right.
Speaking at the Australia-India Sports Partnership Meet in New Delhi on Monday, Gilchrist said, “It was one bad day. India, after a very impressive tournament, just got caught out on the big final day. They came up against a Pakistan team who played a perfect one-off game.”
Pakistan were boosted by a fine century from Fakhar Zaman and fifties from Azhar Ali (59) and Mohammad Hafeez (57*) as they posted 338/4, the second-highest total in the history of the tournament. Mohammad Amir then picked the three big wickets of Rohit Sharma (0), Virat Kohli (5) and Shikhar Dhawan (21). Hasan Ali, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, also took three wickets as Sarfraz’s team handed India their biggest loss in the final of an ICC tournament.
‘Cannot criticise decision’
Virat Kohli’s decision to bowl first in the final has been criticised after Pakistan put up a magnificent batting performance. However, Gilchrist said the nature of the tournament was such that one cannot criticise Kohli’s decision.
“In most of the games in this edition, the team batting second won the match. You have to look at that historical component in this tournament. India have done well chasing and were comfortable batting second,” Gilchrist said.
Heading into the final, there were four consecutive games which featured victories by teams that chased a target. The opening match of the Champions Trophy 2017 saw England chase down 306 against Bangladesh while Sri Lanka overhauled India’s 321 at the Oval, the highest total ever chased in the Champions Trophy.
Prior to the final, India had not lost to Pakistan for eight years in an ICC event, and had an 8-2 advantage in ICC ODI events. Gilchrist said Pakistan’s win would gladden the hearts of all cricket lovers.
“We all know of their struggles of not getting a home international game. They have basically been a nomadic team who play abroad. This has probably helped them adapt in these conditions. The only thing about Pakistan cricket is that they are unpredictable. Their win is a lot like West Indies winning the World T20. We know about their struggles with the game, administration and their participation. Pakistan’s win thus is positive news in cricket,” Gilchrist added.