KARACHI: Fans and former players slammed Pakistan's preparation and tactics on Monday after the side's heavy defeat at the hands of arch-rivals India in the World Twenty20.
Pakistan, one of the pre-tournament favourites, went down by eight wickets in the Super Eights match at Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Sunday, watched by millions in the cricket-mad country.
The defeat leaves Pakistan with a must-win last match against in-form Australia on Tuesday to reach the semi-finals, and ex-players questioned captain Mohammad Hafeez's decision to bat first after winning the toss.
“Pakistan should have realised that India's strong point is their batting and they can chase a big total, so why did they bat first?” said former captain Aamir Sohail. “Our eleven was not chosen with India in mind.”
India rolled Pakistan for a meagre 128 in 19.4 overs before Virat Kohli smashed a brilliant unbeaten 61-ball 78 to steer his side home in 17 overs, avoiding an early Super Eights exit.
Test great Zaheer Abbas said Pakistan went into the game against their biggest rivals under prepared.
“It seemed there was no planning for the crucial match,” said Abbas. “You need to do proper planning for a match against India but I saw that the team panicked and there was no plan to stop Kohli.”
The match was only the third encounter between the two sides in two years.
India beat Pakistan in the semi-final of the World Cup (50 overs) in Mohali last year and also won the Asia Cup tie in Bangladesh earlier this year.
“It hurts when we lose to India,” said Ishtiaq Ali, who watched the match with a group of friends on a big screen in Karachi.
“Pakistan should lose to any team but not to India, because it’s sentimental.”