Kolkata: The Indians were totally outplayed by their arch-rivals Pakistan, who entered the field with an intent to win their first ever Champions Trophy title and in the end, they did so, in style.
However, it would be wrong to say that they weren’t lucky. As a matter of fact, their fearless batting was accompanied by luck several times and once very early on the innings, Jasprit Bumrah had dismissed Fakhar Zaman but it was later found out to be a no-ball. Zaman then went on to score his maiden ton and help post 338 for his team in the first innings.
Former Indian opener, the iconic Sunil Gavaskar in an interaction with NDTV said, “Jasprit bowled quite superbly throughout the tournament, but yes, I think that no ball is the one that’s going to be, unfortunately for what he is remembered for a long time and mainly because it was against Pakistan.”
Fakhar was batting only on 3 runs when the no-ball incident happened. The second chance that he got proved to be very costly for Virat Kohli and co.
The star batsman carried the hopes of a billion Indians after he walked into the field in the first over when Mohammad Amir was bowling with a lot of fire. But in Amir’s second over, Kohli, despite being dropped, perished after he was caught at point trying to flick a ball to the leg side.
While many Indians believe that his dismissal was the reason for India’s loss, Gavaskar came out in support for the Indian skipper saying that he is ,’ human’.
“More than Virat Kohli, the rest of the Indian cricket clubbing population must understand that Kohli is human. That he is going to falter once in a while and so the expectation must scale down just a little bit and not that he is going to go out and score a hundred every single time or he will be winning every single match. I think if those expectations are scaled down then, I think, Virat would be able to perform more consistently than he is doing. He is doing brilliantly and also win more trophies.”
Pakistan from then on, chipped away at the wickets and had the game in full control before Hardik Pandya’s defiant attacking knock almost brought back the defending champions into the contest. But an error in running between Ravindra Jadeja and Pandya saw the latter getting run out after which Pakistan wrapped up the Indian innings in quick time to win the game by a huge margin of 180 runs.
Speaking on this win, Gavaskar said, “Winning the Champions Trophy would mean the world to Pakistan. They have been deprived of playing at home for a long time. So, you know, home fans have not quite been able to see their team at close quarters. That makes a huge difference for a young budding cricketer to be able to see his heroes in flesh and blood, in cricketing attire is completely different than from seeing them on television. This win will certainly uplift Pakistan cricket.”
However, if the Indian cricket team failed to go past Pakistan, the hockey team did so, emphatically by a whopping 7-1 margin.
This win helps the Indian team retain their top spot in Group B with nine points from three matches, while the Pakistan team are yet to open their account and are at the sixth position.
Commenting on this historic victory, the former legend said, “Hockey has been our national sport for decades and I am very happy to see that it has got the recognition it deserves. Our boys played absolutely superbly and it is a huge margin. Pretty much the same margin with which India lost in cricket and Pakistan has always been a terrific hockey team. Many congratulations to the team and I hope that the team goes from here strength to strength.”