The World Cup of twists & turns is exactly what has been happening in the ongoing multi-nation cricketing event. The tables have turned and how, last year, after India faced a crushing defeat at the hands of Babar Azam's Pakistan, they were heavily relying on the outcomes of other matches. This year Pakistan faced a crushing defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe and they are now at the mercy of other teams and how their clashes pan out.
Touted to be one of the favourites to win the World Cup, Pakistan faced a heartbreak at the hands of India on October 23, 2022, which was played at the mighty Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Babar Azam's Pakistan had a clear shot at solidifying their claim for the semi-final spot as they had to take on Zimbabwe. In one of the biggest upsets of the ongoing World Cup, Zimbabwe defeated Pakistan by a margin of 1 run and dented their hopes. This loss hasn't gone down too well with the Pakistan media and fans. The former Pakistan cricketers have been extremely critical of the choices that were made for the squad. Former Pakistan speedsters Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz in particular have questioned the team selection and lavished praises on the Indian selectors and how they dealt with the injury blows to their superstars Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja.
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Wahab Riaz didn't mince words and said:
India has a strong system, there is no doubt about that. Rishabh Pant is such a talented player, if he had been in the Pakistan cricket team, he would have played, but see what India did. The Indian team management opted to go with Dinesh Karthik because they needed a designated finisher for that slot. Pant scores loads of runs, no doubt about that, but if he throws his wicket away at a crucial stage then his team will be in trouble. This is where experience counts.
Mohammad Amir agreed with Wahab Riaz and said:
The Indian team handled their injuries pretty well, they had like-for-like replacements for them. Ravindra Jadeja faced injury concerns, but they brought in Axar Patel to replace him in the squad. They did not replace a bowler with a batsman. Yuzvendra Chahal has been one of the most consistent face for team India but considering the situation, they are going with Ashwin, and interestingly he was not a part of the white-ball team for four long years. This is how they operate.
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Babar Azam's Pakistan will have their eyes firmly set on the India-South Africa clash. If Rohit Sharma's India manage to win, Pakistan will stay alive in the competition, but if South Africa manage to win, Pakistan's chances will deteriorate even further.
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