When Pakistan were losing wickets in quick succession yesterday against the West Indies, it reminded me of one of the best climactic scenes of all-time. We knew what was happening but, we weren’t ‘mentally prepared’ for it. Much like Detective Mills in Se7en, we knew the psychopath we were dealing with but still continued to hope that everything would turn out okay in the end.
John Doe, in this case, was Pakistan. Entering into the World Cup on the back of 11 consecutive losses, they had been preparing us for the final piece of the puzzle for a long time. The signs were all there but we were just too blind to see them.
What happened at Trent Bridge yesterday wasn’t an anomaly by any chance. Pakistan have been absolutely poor since their famous Champions Trophy win at the same venue two years ago. They also might have become the only side at the World Cup whose campaign is virtually over (thanks to the NRR) before it could even begin properly.
Peppered with short-pitched deliveries, our batsmen did not only surrender meekly but also sent out a message to the other teams that their bowlers do not have to outsmart our batsmen by trying different variations. Why resort to such extremes when hurling bouncers one after another will do the trick for them?
And now when you think of it, perhaps, winning the Champions Trophy was one of the best tricks that this John Doe pulled off. It was the equivalent of him walking into the police station to ‘surrender’ only to give Detective Somerset and Detective Mills a false sense of victory. Only to let them help him achieve his final goal.
And whilst our John Doe has set his trick in motion by completely robbing us off any hope by losing to West Indies in a lop-sided contest, it’s up to us whether we choose to be a part of his mission by inflicting more pain on ourselves or fail him by not giving him what he wants.