MANCHESTER: In the last few years, there’s been a massive difference India and Pakistan — and again it showed at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Read: India continue unbeaten streak against Pakistan at World Cup

Pakistan are still trying to rely on talent alone, while with India it’s all about teamwork. They all know their roles, and they execute them superbly.

We had good sides in the 1990s, but now I think this India team intimidates Pakistan.

When Pakistan teams head into these games, they are always under pressure and feel like they’re the weaker team.

That culture needs to change first, and then the fitness level needs to match the Indian players.

Of course, Sarfraz Ahmed got it wrong at the toss; especially when you’re playing two spinners and you decide to bowl first.

More than that though, I feel that they got it wrong with the ball in hand. They struggled to put the ball in good areas on a regular basis, and it was easy pickings for the Indian batsmen.

India have very classy batsmen, let’s not forget. They wait for the bad ball, and didn’t have to do much against the Pakistan attack given the inconsistency in the length.

Mohammad Amir was the only one who created a bit of pressure by bowling a good length.

I feel English conditions actually suit him the most because there’s always something there for him. He knows how to bowl on these pitches.

Amir has come back with a bang and he’s now bowling really well, finding a nice rhythm.

But elsewhere, that venom is not really there and the pace is down.

I would now try and bring one of the youngsters back into the team. In this Pakistan bowling attack, there’s no real pace apart from Wahab Riaz.

When you look around at the other teams, they have guys that can bowl 140kph, so maybe Mohammad Hasnain is the way to go up front with the new ball.

The good thing is Pakistan now have one week off before the next game against South Africa next Sunday.

They’ll have time to go back and reflect on the mistakes that have been made, and what needs to change.

The South Africans are also down, so it’s a match between two teams that have not really justified their potential yet.

All is not lost, despite the blow of this latest defeat. I feel that if Pakistan win all four games, there’s still a chance they go through.

The chances of that happening are low now, but it’s simply a case of starting to win games first and then see where you are later in the tournament.—Courtesy ICC

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2019


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