Arch-rivals India and Pakistan played out a thriller on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium. The exciting contest went down to the wire where Rohit Sharma and Co held the nerves and defeated the Men in Green by five wickets in the Asia Cup Group A clash.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya was the star of the night as he displayed an all-round performance to help India register a famous win in the high-voltage contest. The Baroda cricketer first picked up three wickets and then played a match-winning unbeaten knock of 33 runs from 17 deliveries to take India over the finish line with two balls to spare.
While fans from both sides enjoyed a cracker of a game, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, however, was not impressed by the display of cricket as he went on to say that both teams tried to lose the game, and it was a bad day for the game.
“I want to congratulate both India and Pakistan. Both teams tried to lose the game, and India was almost successful in that. India were trying their best to lose the game, but Hardik Pandya took them over the line. You only tell me, if Rizwan will score 45 of 45 balls, what to say? There were 19 dot balls in the first six overs when Pakistan were batting. If you play so many dot balls, you will be in trouble,” said Akhtar on his YouTube channel.
Akhtar was of the opinion that both Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam made bad selection calls in the contest. The former fast bowler criticized Rohit for dropping Rishabh Pant and Babar for playing Iftikhar Ahmed at number 4.
“There was bad selection, both captains Babar Azam and Rohit Sharma made bad selection calls. India dropped Rishabh Pant, and Pakistan played Iftikhar Ahmed at No.4. No disrespect to him. I have said so many times that Babar should not open, he should come one down, and he anchors the innings. Fakhar and Rizwan should open,” Akhtar added.