Published On: Mon, Feb 16th, 2015

Pak vs India: Once a dream, always a dream

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Pakistan’s jinx against India at cricket World Cup continued on Sunday with their heavy defeat in Adelaide, making it 9-0 in favour of India and prompting angry Pakistani fans to take to streets and burn TV sets.

India’s arch-rivals has now lost to India for the sixth time in 50-over ODI World Cup, besides having been beaten thrice in the Twenty20 World Cups, prompting commentators to ask if Pakistan had a “mental block”.

The first time India and Pakistan met in a World Cup match was in 1992 when they beat their bitter rivals by 43 runs in Sydney.

In 1996 World Cup, India beat Pakistan by 39 runs in Bangalore, while three years later, they again got the better off their rivals with a 47-run win in Manchester.

Maintaining their stranglehold, India under captain Sourav Ganguly beat their neighbours by six wickets in the 2003 World Cup in Centurion. In 2011, the 1983 Champions hosted the quadrennial event and the hosts beat Pakistan by 29 runs in Mohali.

India made it 6-0 in 50 overs World Cup today by thrashing them by 76 runs at the Adelaide Oval.

India also dominated Pakistan in T20 World Cups with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men defeating their rivals by five runs in the 2007 edition in Johannesburg.

In 2012, India once again had the upper hand against Pakistan as they notched up a eight wicket win in Colombo, while in 2014 they won by seven wickets in Dhaka.

Pakistani fans took to streets and set TV sets on fire to give vent to their anger against yet another loss to India.

After the win, former India captain Ganguly said it was a commendable performance by the Indians to keep their unbeaten World Cup track record intact.

Ganguly said the Indians have not only maintained their supremacy in the 50 over cricket in World Cup but also in Twenty20 versions.

Talking about the pressure of playing Pakistan in a World Cup match, Virat Kohli, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 107, said, “Last couple of days have been too tough. Too many people in the hotel getting worked over. You just have to stay in your little space.”

Former South African cricketer Jhonty Rhodes, who himself has featured in four World Cups, said it is a “billion dollar” question as to why Pakistan cannot beat India in World Cup matches.

“We (South Africa) have never reached the final … It’s not a single factor. Why Pakistan is not able to beat India is a billion dollar question,” he said.

Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup wining captain, Imran Khan found fault in team combination and said a specialist wicket-keeper should have been picked.

“I always believed in having specialist players and I think playing Umar (Akmal) as a keeper was a mistake and it cost us.

“I think Virat Kohli was the key for India and batted very sensibly while the way our fast bowlers delivered in the end was very satisfying.

“Today’s pitch was very good for batting but chasing 300 even than is always a psychological pressure.”

Batting great Zaheer Abbas felt that Pakistan committed too many mistakes on the field and also while selecting the team.

“Pakistan committed too many mistakes. Younis Khan should not have been sent as an opener and they should not have dropped Sarfraz Ahmed and made Umar Akmal keep wickets,” he said.

“There was no proper planning. We made so many mistakes. Our captain did blunders. Sending Younis Khan to open the innings was a big blunder and using Umar Akmal as a wicketkeeper was another. Moreover, we dropped so many catches.

“Last World Cup also we dropped so many catches. When do we learn?,” asked Zaheer.

Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also expressed happiness that India could maintain their unbeaten record against Pakistan.

Asked about Shahid Afridi’s potential, Harbhajan said: “He is a potential bomb which can be dangerous when it falls in your courtyard but he mostly falls in his courtyard.”

Former Pakistan opener Mohsin Khan said that there was no planning by the Pakistanis unlike Indians who planned well for the match.

“The way the Indians played it showed that they had prepared well for the match. The way they ran the singles and twos, the field placements and the bowling changes, it shows that they were prepared. Somehow I feel, Pakistan had no planning,” he said.

Pakistan’s former spinner Saqlain Mushtaq said: “Our strategy was not right. Though I agree that sending Younis Khan as an opener was country’s requirement but we lacked genuine opener and a genuine wicket-keeper.” -Agencies

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