Shoaib Akhtar has stated that India tried their best to lose the game against Pakistan but Hardik Pandya took them across the finishing line. Akhtar further stated that Mohammad Rizwan played with a disappointing strike rate and that was one of the reasons for Pakistan putting a low total.
India have started on a winning note in Asia Cup beating their arch-rivals Pakistan by five wickets. The low-scoring game turned out to be an intense affair but a finishing touch from Hardik Pandya helped India script a win. India were chasing 148 and a match-winning partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya played an important role. Reflecting on the game, Shoaib Akhtar has opined that India tried their best to lose the game but Hardik Pandya took them across the finishing line.
“Both teams tried their best to lose the game and India almost succeeded in doing so. India tried their best to lose the game but Hardik Pandya took them across the line,” said the 47-year-old.
Pakistan batted first and India bundled them out on a total of 147. Mohammad Rizwan was the highest run-scorer for the team with 43 runs from 42 deliveries and his inning was laced with four boundaries and a single six. Akhtar expressed his disappointment over Rizwan’s strike rate and suggested that Babar Azam should bat at one down.
“If Rizwan plays at a run-a-ball rate, then what will happen? 19 dot balls in the first 6 overs. If you will play so many dot balls then you will face problems,” he explained.
“I have said this multiple times that Babar Azam shouldn’t open. He should come one down and anchor the innings till the end.”
With this win, India have climbed to the top position in Group A of Asia Cup 2022.