Pakistan team players click a selfie after their win against India on Sunday at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. —  Reuters

‘Absolute hammering’: Indian press, pundits effusive in praise for Pakistan, question Kohli's tactics

Voices from across the border acknowledge the Green Shirts' superiority on the big night.
Published October 25, 2021

Following Pakistan’s impressive win over India in their T20 World Cup 2021 match in Dubai on Sunday night, fans of the Green Shirts broke out the proverbial keg, while press and pundits from the other side of the border dissected the Virat Kohli-led side's humbling defeat.

Analysts, commentators and newspapers from India acknowledged that Babar Azam’s men were far superior on the night, and did not shy away from giving respect, as respect was certainly due.

'The Perfect 10'

The Times of India, a prominent Indian daily, dubbed the Pakistani squad the 'Perfect 10' after their emphatic win over India.

Hailing the team's excellent performance in all areas, the paper wrote, "From being masters of the chaotic for decades, Pakistan turned to masters of the clinical in one night."

Another Indian paper, The Telegraph, also acclaimed the monstrous display of strength by Pakistan in their opener against the arch-rivals.

'Absolute hammering'

Legendary former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar said "the loss is an absolute hammering" for India.

NDTV quoted him as saying that the Men in Blue needed to gather themselves and prepare for the upcoming fixtures.

'Pakistan strong contender to reach semis'

Former India bowler Ashish Nehra said the Babar Azam-led squad had made people take notice of their performance with the convincing 10-wicket win over Virat Kohli's India.

He also termed Pakistan as a strong contender to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.

'Brilliant cricket by Pakistan — No ifs, no buts'

The managing editor of Aaj Tak Sports, Vikrant Gupta, was full of praise for the Green Shirts, noting that "they were aggressive from the first to the last ball."

Ex-Indian cricketer Vinod Kambli, meanwhile, said the Pakistan team simply deserved to win.

'It was not India's day'

Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh complimented Pakistan's "brilliant win", but said India could not defend their unbeaten streak against Pakistan at the World Cups because "it wasn't [their] day."

'Pakistan did it in style'

ESPNcricinfo editor-in-chief Sambit Bal lauded Babar's men for breaking the jinx, at last.

'Bad team selection hallmark of Kohli's decisions'

Kohli's team selection for the match against Pakistan also came under scrutiny after the India's loss. Indian writer Venkat Parthasarathy questioned the skipper for picking Hardik Pandya instead of Ishan Kishan in the playing XI.

'What is Pandya doing in the team?'

On social media too, the Indian team and Kohli have been pestered with a torrent of questions for one selection: Hardik Pandya.

'Be gracious in defeat'

However, cricket analyst Aakash Chopra summed up the debate with a lesson for all. "Be humble in victory … be gracious in defeat," he tweeted.