File photo of Babar Azam© Twitter
India defeated Pakistan by five wickets in a last-over thriller at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. The 2022 Asia Cup match between the arch-rivals went down to the wire but all-rounder Hardik Pandya showed nerves of steel to pull off the heist for the Indian team in chase of a 148-run target. Besides the crucial knock of Pandya, it was certainly the lack of proper planning from Pakistan skipper Babar Azam in the second innings that played a big role in his side’s loss to India.
The Pakistan fast bowlers finished their quota of overs by the 19th over and that saw spinner Mohammad Nawaz being handed the responsibility to bowl the last 6 balls with only 7 runs to defend.
It is worth noting that Nawaz had finished his third over by the 12th over of the innings but Babar failed to rotate his bowlers well and that saw Nawaz being brought to bowl the final over with Hardik and Ravindra Jadeja settled at the crease.
Former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram felt that Babar was “too late” to bring Nawaz for the latter’s final over. He opined that the skipper should have completed the spinner’s four-over quota by the 13th or the 14th over.
“I think Babar made one mistake. He should have had Nawaz bowl the 13th or 14th over. It was too late. You can’t have a spinner in T20 format (bowling) in the last 3 to 4 overs, especially against the likes of (Ravindra) Jadeja and (Hardik) Pandya,” Akram said on Star Sports after the match.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar‘s 4 for 26 and Hardik’s 3 for 25 helped India bundle out Pakistan for 147. The Pakistan bowlers fought well in the second innings of the match, but Hardik stole the show with an unbeaten 33 off 17 balls to take India home.
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