Akmal wicketkeeper, Younus opener – weird decisions which backfired!
Umar Akmal dropped an important catch of Virat Kohli, that batsman who went on to knock historic century for India while Younus Khan was sent to open… In perhaps the most emotionally charged match for Pakistan.
Kohli scored the first century for India against Pakistan in World Cup matches.
Younus Khan had been struggling with the form at number three, so what happened in the match against India, was nothing that could not be expected.
Younus is classy batsman and is going through a bad patch. But he could be useful in important pressure matches with his vast experience only if he is sent where he plays best – middle order.
The biggest mistake Pakistan did was that that they didn’t keep in the side a specialist wicket-keeper – Sarfraz Ahmed.
Had Umar Akmal took the easy catch of Kohli, who was playing on some 70 odd runs, India might not have been able to reach 300-run mark. It might be that Sohail Khan made a strong comeback soon after Kohli was removed, which he eventually did, but a bit too late.
Kohli had earlier got a life after Yasir Shah had dropped a catch but it was a difficult one. However, had Sarfraz been there, he must have collected it and India might be restricted to fewer runs than they eventually scored.
Sarfraz might even have scored better than Umar’s duck.
Playing Yasir Shah instead of another pacer Ehsan Adil could also be criticized but it could also be defended since other teams were also using spinners Down Under. Yasir did well against England in warm-up.
Had Sarfraz been picked, and Younus was not sent as opener… The result might have been different…
And congratulations to Virat Kohli, who had obviously been hero for India. Although Indian commentators during the match grilled him for playing slow inning, Kohli (107 off 126 balls) played pivotal role as he had been there piling runs first with Shikhar Dhawan and then with Suresh Raina. Otherwise, after him India failed to score much runs and lost wickets one after another.