This article was first published on www.icc-cricket.com.
Pakistan’s shock defeat of the in-form host England has set up what’s undoubtedly the most important meeting of the two sides in recent memory.
When recapping the game at Lord’s between South Africa and England before the tournament, I made a point of pointing out that the best sides, despite sticking to their method wherever possible,
This was another example of some poor game management from Eoin Morgan’s side.
Having seen Pakistan’s record at this tournament, England should have re-evaluated their plans, looking to put a score of around 270-280 on the board, which would have allowed the bowlers the opportunity to go about creating pressure. I truly believe that they would have been able to defend a score in that region, but the way they played suggested to me that they were going to try and
I see a missing cog in the England batting machine, in that if the pitch hasn’t played to their initial game plan, as a team, they failed to find a lower gear and simply get themselves to a score. Not every track will allow you to hit through the line and play the brand of expansive cricket that has, admittedly, launched England to
However, as a batting unit, England will be mighty disappointed in terms of the manner in which their basic approach to the innings let them down against Pakistan.
Throughout the tournament, Pakistan has proven that their bowling is their stronger suit with the skill and guile of players like Hassan Ali and Imad Wasim, who’ve both impressed me hugely.
As a team, Pakistan has been masterful in terms of how they squeeze teams and applies pressure consistently. England was never given the opportunity to score freely, and they were an exemplary display of disciplined one-day bowling from Pakistan.
I’m a huge advocate of getting your spinners into the game early in one-day cricket, something Pakistan has done effectively so far. Both Imad and Mohammad Hafeez have bowled straight and in a very clever way in this tournament. They’re not big turners of the ball, but what they contribute in terms of building pressure is invaluable to their captain.
Despite how well this Pakistan team has bowled, they will need a few factors to go their way if they are going to go on to win the ultimate prize and beat their arch-rivals India for the trophy.
I would predict that Pakistan will look to bowl first if they win the toss, and work to restrict India to a total within their reach. Batting first, and setting a score, has been a tough ask throughout the knockout phase of the tournament so far, and I don’t see that as Pakistan’s strength.
This Indian team is in sensational form, and as they so often do, are peaking at the right time. They had the simpler route to the final in terms of facing Bangladesh in their semi-final, but the clinical fashion in which they went about picking Bangladesh off was still a show of their confidence as a side.
Having your top order hit form at a tournament is key, and with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, they have built solid platforms all the way through the competition.
India dealt with Pakistan pretty severely in the first meeting of the sides in the group stages. That won’t mean everything, but it’s certainly a big ask of Pakistan to lay that performance to rest and front up to the challenge that they will face on Sunday.
For the tournament’s sake, I hope we see a closer game of cricket than we did in the two semi-finals, as well as a mutual respect and enjoyment of the spectacle from the opposing fans.
One guarantee is that players and fans are to be treated to an electric atmosphere at The Oval. The smart choice, given their quality and form, would be India. However, Pakistan has already shown that they are more than capable of surprises. DM
Photo: Pakistani supporter waves national flags during the cricket Pakistan Super League (PSL) final between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi, in Lahore, Pakistan, 05 March 2017. The final is held under close guard by security forces with media reporting that about 11,000 personnel has been deployed in several cordons. The Pakistan Super League consists of five franchises nominally representing cities in Pakistan. EPA/RAHAT DAR
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.
Magenta has no physical wavelength. It thus does not "exist" strictly speaking. Rather our brains are telling us that we are seeing "not green".