How PAK's missed shot at IND WC history saw Babar's side lose ICC ranking moment | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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How Pakistan's missed shot at World Cup history against India saw Babar Azam and Co. lose golden ICC ranking moment

Oct 15, 2023 04:07 PM IST

A brutal defeat against India, by an emphatic margin of seven wickets, saw Pakistan being denied of the two golden opportunities

Pakistan did not just have a shot at World Cup history when they took on India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday, they also stood a chance to reclaim what they were robbed off following their heartbreaking Asia Cup exit last month. But a brutal defeat, by an emphatic margin of seven wickets, saw Pakistan being denied of the two golden opportunities. But more so, it left them wounded with India exposing the chinks in their strategy which further raised questions on their abilities to go the distance in the 2023 World Cup.

Pakistan's Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan wait for the decision of review as Indian players look on during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match between India and Pakistan(PTI)
Pakistan's Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan wait for the decision of review as Indian players look on during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match between India and Pakistan(PTI)

A collapse of epic margin saw Pakistan stutter from 151/2 to 191 all out in a matter of just 79 deliveries. Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan looked to rebuild the innings with their 82-run third-wicket stand where the former notched his first ever ODI fifty against India, but twin strikes each from Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah successively saw Pakistan stutter and eventually succumb.

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Rohit Sharma then continued his sublime form to score a second consecutive half-century-plus knock en route to his 63-ball 86 before Shreyas Iyer notched up his maiden World Cup fifty as India wrapped up the chase with 117 balls to spare.

Had Pakistan managed to alter the script on Saturday, it would have been their first ever win against India in a World Cup encounter. The resounding margin of 8-0 against Pakistan now puts India back on top for the best ever win-loss rate against a single opposition in the history of the 50-over event.

The loss also saw Pakistan let go off the opportunity to go past India and take the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings chart. Following their Asia Cup exit last month, Pakistan, who had entered the tournament as the No. 1 ranked side, lost their hold over the throne as India surged ahead after a title win, followed by a 2-1 series victory at home against Australia. India and Pakistan both remained in contention for the top spot at the tournament kicked off on October 5 and the Men in Blue remained ahead despite both claimed two wins in two matches. But with the win in Ahmedabad Saturday, India retained the spot, while Pakistan lost the chance to dethrone their rivals.

Pakistan still stand second while an in-form South Africa are in the third spot. Australia, who were also in contention for the No. 1 ranking last month alongside the two Asian countries, lost their hold in the race as they slipped to the fourth place after back-to-back losses at the start of the 2023 World Cup. New Zealand make up the world’s top five, with the defending World Cup champions England in sixth.

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