How Pakistan's loss to England in Rawalpindi boosted India's chances of making World Test Championship final
For Pakistan, it was surely a heartbreak as they didn't just go down in the match and in the series, but their chances of making the World Tet Championship final suffered a major blow, which subsequently boosted India's chances.
England scripted a sensational win on Monday the most benign of pitches as they beat Pakistan by 74 runs in the opening match of the series. It was a bold move on Sunday evening when they declared the second innings with four sessions to go with the sheer aim to pick all 10 wickets and force a result. And they did it, it the nick of time in Rawalpindi. For Pakistan, it was surely a heartbreak as they didn't just go down in the match and in the series, but their chances of making the World Tet Championship final suffered a major blow, which subsequently boosted India's chances.
Placed in the fifth spot in the WTC points table before the start of the series, Pakistan had a realistic chance of making the final with the Babar Azam-led side slated to play five Tests at home against England and New Zealand. But a poor batting show in the final innings meant their chances have taken a huge hit.
Pakistan still stand fifth in the table though, but wins for Australia or India in their respective upcoming Test series means the Babar-led team is likely to miss out.
In fact, India have their chances boosted after Pakistan's loss in Rawalpindi. If they clean sweep Bangladesh, they can afford to lose at least one of their Tests at home against Australia and still have the chance to make the final. For Australia, if they whitewash West Indies and win two of their Tests against South Africa, they would also have the chance to make the final.
"We were not upto the mark. Had a golden chance in the second innings, but session by session we lost wickets. Our bowling group is young. Unfortunately Haris injured himself in the first innings. All credit to the bowlers who bowled well and tried without Haris. We try to stick to our plans. Difficult when opponent goes at 7 an over. We had an opportunity in the second innings. But we didn't get partnerships in the end. Lot of positives. Our batting performed very well. Bowling also very well," Pakistan captain Babar said after the match.