By Abhishek Kumar
India suffered a humiliating defeat in the hands of a resurgent Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday. Pakistan rode on opener Fakhar Zaman’s 114 to post a fighting total of 338 after being asked to bat first. In response Indian batsmen failed to counter Mohammad Amir’s pace and swing as he demolished India’s top order in the first powerplay itself. India were bundled out for 158 in less than 31 overs, providing 180 run win to Pakistan.
Following the match, cricket experts shared their views on the final match through various platforms and also pointed out the key performers and moments of the match. Mohammad Amir and Fakhar Azam received accolades for their spirited performance while Indian team was criticised for poor team selection and lackluster performance of the senior members.
Jonathan Agnew in his article in BBC heaped praise on Mohammad Amir and Fakhar Azam for their crucial role in Pakistan’s win.
“His attitude in this tournament has been excellent, that of a man who has moved on from the problems of his past. Is it redemption for Amir? I suppose it is. There were people who did not want him back in the game but, now that he is back, he will be a high-class performer. Good luck to him,” wrote Agnew.
Agnew also praised Azam for his attacking instinct which allowed other batsmen to play around him.
Cricketer turned journalist, Mike Atherton in his article described the transformation that Pakistan had undergone in 2 weeks along with acknowledging individual performances of Azam, Amir and Hardik Pandya.
“So it was that a team written off and derided after their first outing, comprising a batting line-up thought of as the weakest of the eight teams, lacking the kind of dynamism and power common to others, and ranked lowest of them all coming into the tournament, put on the most exhilarating display of the competition,” Atherton wrote in his article in The Times.
Apart from Amir and Azam, Atherton had a few words in praise of Pandya for his fighting knock. “Pandya is as thin as Chinese soup, but hits a mighty ball and briefly raised hopes of an Indian revival with six enormous blows into the stands.”