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Asia Cup 2022: Cricket pundits praise Pakistan despite losing to India

Cricket pundits have praised Team Pakistan despite its loss to India in the second match of the 2022 Asia Cup match on Sunday.

Despite torrential monsoon rains and flash floods ravaging Pakistan, big screens were installed all over Karachi for everyone to watch the match.

Former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim was among the many who praised Pakistan’s performance. He especially commended fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi. Qasim said the team would have won if they had scored 15-20 runs.

“It was a great match and closely fought and I think the Pakistan team even without Shaheen Shah Afridi performed like a champion. Unfortunately, we missed the services of a fourth pace bowler,” Qasim said.

“Our young pace bowlers specially Naseem Shah and Shahnawaz Dahani bowled brilliantly and with so much heart. It was so inspiring to see Naseem completing his final over despite having severe cramps.”

Former skipper Shahid Afridi said that Pakistan and India displayed good performances, and both teams would have expected a close match. He especially praised Naseem Shah and Mohammed Nawaz for performing well in bowling.

“But Pakistan performed hard till the end that is a great sign. I thought Naseem and Muhammad Nawaz really bowled well,” Afridi said.

Pakistan former captain Moin Khan said the reaction to losing to India was out of the ordinary. He expected people to criticise the Men in Green for the loss. However, due to the sportsmanship between the two teams despite being rivals, people praised Pakistan instead.

"The reaction to losing to India has not been the usual criticism because in the build-up to the match the camaraderie shown by players of both teams towards each other was brilliant while our team also fought hard till the final over,” Khan said.

Pandya's chances

India No. 1 all-rounder Hardik Pandya took three for 25 in four overs. He scored 33 runs off 17 balls and finished the match with a six off Nawaz.

"We only needed seven off the last over, but even if we needed 15, I'd have fancied myself. I know the bowler is under more pressure than me in the 20th over. I try to keep things simple," Pandya said.

"In bowling, it's important to assess the situations and use your weapons. For me, bowling short and the hard lengths have been my strengths. It's about using them well and asking the right questions to make the batters commit a mistake."

India captain Rohit Sharma said the match was under control and praised Pandya for his performance and confidence in facing the Babar Azam-led Pakistan.

Sharma added that there was an apparent change in Pandya, especially in terms of confidence and calmness, which led to his match-winning performance.

"Since the time [Pandya] has made his comeback, he's been brilliant. When he was not part of the team, he figured what he needs to do to his body and his fitness regime, and now he is clocking 140+ easily,” Sharma said.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.