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Babar Azam and Rizwan were timid, didn't attack much: Hardik Pandya on India's comeback with ball vs Pakistan

Team India vice-captain Hardik Pandya was critical of Pakistan batters, captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan's approach in the middle overs, saying that they were timid and that allowed them to stay in the game. India beat Pakistan by 7 wickets in the World Cup 2023 match in Ahmedabad.

Anshul Gupta Written By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Updated on: October 15, 2023 13:32 IST
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan slowed up a bit against the
Image Source : AP Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan slowed up a bit against the Indian spinners during the World Cup 2023 match

Eight wickets for 35 runs! That was a monumental collapse like no other for Pakistan in Ahmedabad against India in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup on Saturday, October 14 as the Men in Green went from 155/2 to 190 all out. It was a downward slide that started from skipper Babar Azam's wicket and just never stopped as Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja were on a roll. Pakistan were bossing the game at one point with two set batters in and nearly 20 overs to go, but one wicket and it all came apart for them.

Pakistan were going great guns at over 5.5 rpo but in a five-over span, the run rate came down to just over four as the spin duo of Jadeja and Kuldeep tightened the screws and both Babar and Rizwan got defensive. Babar got to his hundred and Mohammed Siraj dismissed with a top-of-off delivery. Vice-captain Hardik was critical of Babar and Rizwan's approach saying that they were too timid and since they both didn't take chances, it meant that the Indian bowlers were in the game. 

Speaking to Star Sports after the match, Hardik said, "Our assessment of the game at that point was that both Babar and Rizwan got timid. They didn’t take any chances, which is why we thought we were always in the game. There wasn’t much in the pitch for the bowlers. If the ball stayed low or something happens after pitching, that's a different thing but there wasn't much in it for the bowlers. They didn’t try going for shots or attack us, which is why we were able to bowl dot balls. I have seen that if two players bat in the same way, if one gets out, then it opens up a lot of doors."

Rizwan got out soon to a peach of a delivery from Jasprit Bumrah, who was exceptional at the end. 191 wasn't going to be a difficult ask and skipper Rohit Sharma's 63-ball 86 just killed the game in the powerplay itself as India extended their domination to 8-0 over Pakistan in World Cups.

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