'Maybe Pakistan would have got another wicket...': Gavaskar's bold statement on Shaheen after ENG vs PAK T20 WC final
Sunil Gavaskar has reflected on the turning point of the World Cup final between Pakistan and England. Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi failed to complete his quota of overs in the World Cup final.
Did Shaheen Shah Afridi’s injury cost Pakistan a win in the T20 World Cup final against England? Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has answered the buzzing question after Jos Buttler and Co. emerged triumphant over the Green Army to secure their second ICC World T20 crown on Sunday. Pakistan were hoping to stage a late comeback when pacer Shaheen plucked a stunning catch to dismiss Harry Brook in the 13th over of England's innings at the MCG.
However, Brook's dismissal came at a cost as Shaheen ended up injuring himself while taking the catch of the on-song batter. Though Afridi was reintroduced into the attack after receiving treatment, the Pakistani pacer failed to complete his quota of overs. With Shaheen being ruled out of the contest, Pakistan's Iftikhar Ahmed completed his over and ended up leaking 13 runs.
Talking about the turning point of the World Cup final, batting legend Gavaskar opined that Pakistan were already 15-20 runs short against England. “I don’t think so, as they didn’t have enough runs on the board. They were around 15-20 runs short. Had they got to 150-155, they would have had a better chance and their bowlers would have had a bit of a cushion,” Gavaskar told India Today.
“But I don’t think the 10 deliveries that Shaheen didn’t bowl would have made that much of a difference. Maybe Pakistan would have got another wicket, but England would still have won,” Gavaskar added. Speaking to reporters after the match, Pakistan captain Babar admitted that his side was 20 runs short with the bat in the final. The Pakistan skipper also asserted that Shaheen's injury shifted the match in England's favour.
Pacer Shaheen bagged the wicket of England opener Alex Hales and conceded 13 runs in 2.1 overs. Riding on Ben Stokes' unbeaten half-century (52 off 49 balls), Buttler-led England outclassed Pakistan by 5 wickets in the T20 World Cup 2022 final at the MCG. England have become the first team to hold the T20 and 50-over World Cup titles in white-ball cricket.