ICC World T20 2014: Review of India’s match against Pakistan

Pakistan, in spite of its comparatively better record against India, has never been able to get the better of its historic rivals in ICC World Cups – be it 50 overs or 20 overs. The encounter that was held on 21st March at the Shere Bangla National Stadium was expected to change things though – many had predicted that Pakistan could turn the tide because of its recent victory against India in the Asia Cup. What could have also gone in Pakistan’s favor was that India had not played too many T20 internationals before the World T20. However, in the end India prevailed in what could be termed a less than exciting encounter.


Team composition: Both the sides decided to go in with their respective strengths. India stacked the team with spinners – there were as many as 3 full time spinners and a couple of part timers. Pakistan, too, had a well balanced team with some good allrounders, decent seam bowling line-up and an exceptional spin bowling unit.


Batting: Pakistan’s innings never really got off to a good start with not a single batsman playing a defining innings that could set the match up for the team. Umar Akmal was the highest scorer with 33. In the Indian innings almost everyone chipped in with the exception of Yuvraj Singh. Kohli was the highest scorer with 36 and he received able support from Raina who stayed unbeaten on 35.


Bowling: Indians, for a change, had a better match with the ball compared to their Pakistani counterparts. MS Dhoni had opted to bowl first and his bowlers justified the decision completely. Amit Mishra was the leading bowler with 2 for 22 from 4 overs and he was ably assisted by the other spinners – Ashwin and Jadeja – who bowled economical spells. The seam bowling department, however, remained a problem with both Bhuvneshwar and Shami proving to be a touch expensive.


Pakistani bowlers, on the other hand, were let down by the below par total. Ajmal was the best bowler on view with 1 for 18 from 4 overs but the other crucial bowlers such as Gul, Bhatti – who picked up a wicket apiece – and Afridi went for runs. The others were not penetrative enough. One was thinking, prior to the match, that if the spinners did not fire the quick bowlers may not be able to make the inroads. This is what happened in the end.


Where do the teams go from here?


A win in the first match of such an important tournament always boosts your performance as a team in the later games. It becomes easier to plan your way. This is how India would be feeling right now. Pakistan, on the other hand, would be feeling a bit disappointed after their loss. They may also need to check their team composition like bringing in Sharjeel Khan and Sohail Tanvir instead of Shoaib Malik and Bilawal Bhatti. That would perhaps make them more competitive.