Bhuvneshwar Kumar has admitted that it was Bumrah’s no-ball, which denied the crucial wicket of Fakhar Zaman, that made the difference in the 2017 Champions Trophy final. Pakistan, led by Sarfaraz Ahmed, posted a total of 338/4 and bowled India out for just 158 to win the Trophy.
After winning the 2013 Champions Trophy, the Indian cricket team were favorites for defending their title again in the 2017 edition of the ICC event. This also came down to the fact that in the league stage, India had bagged an easy win against arch-rivals. But the final told a completely different story after Kohli, on winning the toss, asked Pakistan to bat first. Openers Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman sewed a 128-run first-wicket partnership taking the total to 338/4 in 50 overs. Despite Hardik Pandya’s late resistance, scoring 76 runs in 43 balls that was ended by an untimely runout, ended India’s hope as they were bundled up for 158.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was a part of both the 2013 and 2017 CT finals, recalled India’s defeat against Pakistan and pointed out that it was Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball that turned the game to Pakistan’s favour. The no-ball had denied India the wicket of Zaman, who went onto score 114 off 106 deliveries. In an interaction with former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta on ESPNCricinfo video chat show Cricketbaazi, Bhuvneshwar admitted that even though the margin of loss was huge, India only lost the final due to an “unfortunate incident”.
“In the 2017 Champions Trophy final, things changed after Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball. It’s not like we’ve had a one-sided loss or we went down without a fight. We’ve always lost due to an unfortunate event or incident. Although, the 2017 Champions Trophy final was a one-sided loss where they outplayed us. And it’s difficult to pin-point the exact reason for the loss,” Bhuvneshwar was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
Since India’s win in the 2013 Champions Trophy, defeating England in their own backyard, the team has lost four knockout games in ICC tournaments which has become a topic of discussion amongst fans and cricketers. In this regard, Bhuvneshwar defended his team and held their collective performance in these tournaments highly.
“The last we won was the Champions Trophy in 2013. And since then, there have been only 3-4 ICC tournaments and we have made it to the semis or the finals about 2-3 times. In 2015 World Cup we lost to Australia in the semi-final. And in 2019 World Cup, it was bad luck. An early loss of three top order batsmen cost us the game. It rarely happens that in a match after dismissing the opposition for under 250, you are get bowled out,” he added.
“In that entire World Cup, Rohit Sharma had scored five or six centuries, K.L. Rahul was in good form, Virat Kohli played as always and we had MS Dhoni as well in the team. But losing these knockout matches masks the fact that we actually played very well through those tournaments.”