India more relieved than elated after beating Pakistan

Yogesh Khetpal
By Yogesh Khetpal February 16, 2015 18:21

India more relieved than elated after beating Pakistan

There was no chest-beating from India’s players after they beat their fierce rivals Pakistan at the World Cup on Sunday.

While their fans celebrated as though they had won the World Cup, India’s players were more relieved than excited by the 76-run victory.

Until Sunday, the Indians had only won one match — a practice game against Afghanistan — since arriving in Australia in November, and the pressure was starting to mount.

As the team captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni bore the brunt of criticism. More than most, he knew how important it was for India to avoid defeat to Pakistan in their opening World Cup match.

“I felt the guys did really well because a World Cup opening game against Pakistan, it is a high-stake game,” Dhoni told a news conference at Adelaide Oval.

“But at the same time we don’t want to give it too much of an importance because irrespective of whether you’re playing Pakistan or Australia, the games are important.

“You get the same number of points. Your run rate, depending on the margin you win, it’s the same. I feel we try to keep it as normal as possible, and to a lot of extent we were able to do that.”

Dhoni admitted his players had felt flat after losing the four-match test series 2-0 to Australia and then finishing last in the Tri-Series one-day tournament, which also included England.

He said the players spent the 10 days between the end of the series and the start of the World Cup trying to refresh themselves physically and mentally.

Dhoni, who captained India to the World Cup win in 2011, and was named man of the match in the final, said his players were in a much better frame of mind to defend their title.

“Our approach was always positive. The result was not in our favour,” Dhoni said.

“That’s something that’s really beyond our control. There were quite a few areas where we had to improve both in the bowling and the batting department.

“In this game it clicked together. It’s something that you have to do in tournaments like this. You have to be at your best, and I felt today was one game which was to a lot of extent a very complete game for all of us, but still, we can improve.”

Beating Pakistan made it all the more sweeter for Dhoni’s men. The two neighbours have an intense rivalry that goes beyond sport but passions are rarely as high as when they meet on the cricket pitch.

At the World Cup, it has been one-sided with India winning all six of the matches they have played, including the 2011 semi-final.

“The record is good, but it’s something that I don’t want to get into because there will come a time when we will lose, irrespective of whether it happens this World Cup, next World Cup or four World Cups down the line,” Dhoni said.

“We are definitely proud of it, but it will be broken at some point of time.” (Reuters)



Yogesh Khetpal
By Yogesh Khetpal February 16, 2015 18:21
  • Reality Check

    I asked few Indians what is the most important and striking difference in between Pakistan & India teams, you know what was their answers, Indian players have brains they normally use during match but Pakistani players have brains but they never use and it was a good enough answer to shut my mouth. Whenever a team lose a game all the blame goes on captain and it is true whether Misbha like it on not but he never admitted this fact in front of the cameras after Indo Pak match. Why would he, he is batting again on number 4 as he always preferred, chasing 300 runs the strike rate in the first 20 overs supposed to be 90 plus which never happened. We all know from the last 10 ODIs that Pakistan team played, it was always difficult for Pakistan batsmen to chase any runs in the region of 250, and that India was betting on the time they started their batting. I can see the way they were batting and in their minds it was 250 target and now question what do you do in such circumstances, if they were in a defensive mod, attack, disturb them, give them short pitch deliveries but no what our bowlers were doing, keeping good line and length but giving away plenty of singles and doubles. Our bowlers and captain was playing in their hands, and we all know the result at the end of the day, Pakistan lost badly. I am sorry to say, Irfan has no brain and he is wasting the new ball all the time. In the next game start the bowling with Wahab Riaz & Sohail Khan as both are bowling quite effectively and fast and they both know how to use new ball and if needed then use Irfan for few overs otherwise introduce him during power play or last overs in the game. I wish Pakistani selectors in the absence of Hafeez, ‘ karwa ghoont pee latay aur Shoaib Malik koo chance day datay’. Selectors and other officials in the past have given that much liberty to Mibha & Hafeez that Pakistan team suffering the consequences. Let us come on the batting side, in the rest of the game, they have to bring Sarfraz Ahmed back as a batsman and let him open the inning with Shahzad. Umer Akmal Number 3, Harris Sohail Number 4, Shoaib Maqsood Number 5, Misbha Number 6 and Afridi number 7 otherwise it will be the same situation as we all have been watching in the last 10 ODIs that Pakistani team played. I am afraid, Misbha has to scarify his number 4 position to improve the run rate. I can bet there are 5 players in the team have no brains and they must be warned start using their brains otherwise do not give them any more chances in the future games and those are Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Maqsood, Irfan, Yasir Shah, Nasir Jamshaad. Well, I have my say some one reading these precious comments pass to the people in charge or selectors for the betterment of Pakistani team. All the Pakistan players must start using their brains otherwise we all know the consequences, they will be back before quarters finals.


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