Asia Cup 2018: Pakistan should have chased against India, reckons Kevin Pietersen
Pakistan lost by 8 wickets against India on Wednesday. The two teams will face-off once again in the Super Fours.
Updated - Sep 20, 2018 8:12 pm
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen believes Pakistan should have batted second in their Group A match against India on Wednesday. Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat first, on what looked like a batting-friendly track. Even India’s captain Rohit Sharma said that he would have opted to bat first.
Nevertheless, Pakistan was reduced to 3 for 2 after Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed both openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman. Save the 82-run stand between veteran Shoaib Malik and Babar Azam, Pakistan failed to build partnerships and were eventually dismissed for 162.
India didn’t falter in the chase. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan provided the Men in Blue with a flying start. Rohit, in particular, took the opposition on and raced to a half-century off just 36 deliveries. Although Rohit and Dhawan departed in quick succession, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik made sure India got to the target with plenty of overs to spare.
Sarfraz should bat at 6, not 5
Pietersen also thought Sarfraz should have batted at no.6. The Pakistan captain came in at no.5 and was dismissed for just 6 after Manish Pandey pulled off a brilliant catch on the boundary ropes. Pandey caught the ball inside the playing field, but since his momentum would have taken him outside the boundary, he cleverly threw the ball back in and ran back in to catch it comfortably.
KP took to Twitter to share his views about Pakistan’s decision after the toss. He wrote, “Pakistan should have chased last night. Sarfaraz needs to bat 6. India clinical. Rohit/Bhuvi put on a show.”
Pakistan should have chased last night.
Sarfaraz needs to bat 6.
Rohit/Bhuvi put on a show.
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) September 20, 2018
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kedar Jadhav led with the ball for India, bagging three wickets apiece. The former was eventually adjudged Man of the Match for his figures of 3-15, which included a maiden over.
Both India and Pakistan are through to the Super 4, which is the next stage of the tournament. The two teams will meet once again on Sunday, September 23. They will also play Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have progressed to the Super 4 from Group B after knocking out Sri Lanka.