“Both Teams Tried To Lose The Game”: Shoaib Akhtar On India-Pakistan Asia Cup Match

Team India defeated Pakistan by five wickets on Sunday© AFP

India and Pakistan played out a thrilling match on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium, and it was Rohit Sharma and co that came out on the right side of the result as they defeated their arch-rivals by five wickets in Asia Cup Group A clash. Hardik Pandya was the star of the show as he displayed an all-round performance to help India win the contest. Hardik first took three wickets, and then he played a match-winning knock of 33 runs of just 17 balls to take India over the line with two balls to spare.

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar, however, was not impressed by the cricket on display and he went on to say that both teams tried to lose the game and it was a “bad day of cricket”.

“I want to congratulate both India and Pakistan. Both teams tried to lose the game, 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,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.

“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,” he stated further.


Further criticising the selection calls made by both teams, Akhtar said: “Both teams played bad cricket, Pakistan messed up their batting order. Even India sent Ravindra Jadeja at No.4, so you just think how bad the calls were from both sides.”

“Pakistan then sent Shadab Khan ahead of Asif Ali, so I was not able to understand the thinking of Babar Azam. It is really really bad cricket. Pakistan did not do the calculation for the last over. It was a bad day of cricket. Both teams played poorly. I did not like it one bit, I don’t care what others have to say,” he added.

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