Pakistan lauded by former players after thrilling win over India

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan joined a chorus of former Pakistani players to congratulate the team.

Lahore | Updated: March 3, 2014 11:06 am
Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi plays a shot during the Asia Cup one-day international cricket tournament against India. (AP) Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi plays a shot during the Asia Cup one-day international cricket tournament against India. (AP)

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan led the chorus of appreciation for the Pakistan team after its stunning one-wicket win over India in the Asia Cup, showering special praise on senior all-rounder Shahid Afridi for his electrifying cameo.

“Afridi fulfilled his responsibilities as a senior player and I am happy to see him playing so well under lot of pressure,” Imran said.

Pakistan’s former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said while Pakistan had secured a great win but one must remain realistic at all times.

“I am happy that Pakistan won but I think it was not our batting but our bowling that won us the match as they restricted India to a reasonable total on a good batting track,” he said.

He pointed out that India badly missed the services of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain and batsman and that Virat Kohli had made some mistakes as captain.

“He should have kept at least two overs for Shami knowing the way Pakistan’s batting collapses at times,” he added.

Pakistan’s former captain, Muhammad Yousuf said Indian batsman appeared a bit over-confident when they batted first.

“I don’t know but I got this feeling they were over confident and tried to play too many strokes and they paid the price. On this pitch India fell short by at least 60 to 70 runs,” he said.

Yousuf praised the Pakistani bowlers for putting in a good effort on a batting track.

“The bowlers provided the impetus for the win.”

Asked about Afridi’s match winning innings, Yousuf said the all-rounder can win and lose matches for both sides.

“Today he won the match for Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s designated chief selector, Rashid Latif felt that India made a mistake by not selecting Yuvraj Singh for the Asia Cup particularly when Dhoni was not available and Suresh Raina had been sidelined.

“I don’t know why Yuvraj was not selected because he remains a limited overs player and today India missed his aggressive attitude and all round ability. I think his experience would have helped against the Pakistani spinners.”

Latif also felt that Kohli was a quality player but needed to curb his aggression to be successful as captain on the international front.

Pakistan’s former batsman and former head coach Mohsin Khan said Afridi had shown why it was necessary to retain faith in senior players like him.

“I think everyone contributed in the win but the way Afridi handled the pressure in the final over, that was the winning moment for Pakistan. He kept his nerves and won the match for Pakistan.”

Mohsin, who has also remained chief selector, pointed out that Pakistan should have won this match more comfortably after restricting India to a gettable total.

“But that is the way this team plays it makes things difficult for itself.”

Pakistan’s banned fast bowler, Muhammad Aamir said that Pakistan had won a great match after a long time.

“Afridi showed his value to the team and he remains a big asset for us.”

As soon as the match ended there were wild celebrations in every part of the country with youngsters waving Pakistan flags and banners and riding atop cars in the eastern city of Lahore where the match was followed with huge interest.

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  1. A
    andy
    Mar 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm
    Full credit to stan for winning the game. This is one team that is capable of doing anything and everything possible on a given day. Always thought somebody who has god given ability (Afridi) never performed to his full potential throughout his career, he could have been the greatest all rounder of all time like Kallis or Imran (but he has zero or negative temperament and does not play according to the match situation, I can understand stani fan and team's frustration). Next year's world cup probably his last chance to show his potential. I hope he goes out with boom boom in the world cup.Anyway, he was fantastic in the match against India and even though I am an Indian fan, I would support Afridi and the stani team to win the Asia cup this year. This team (pak team) has faced all kind of hardships (international isolation due to taliban bomb blast when Lanka visited them, other teams dont visit stan).People often ask which is the best cricket team in the world, I would say Indian batting bowling will be the best team in the world, then what do we do about Indian bowling and stani batsman ? put them in a spaceship and send them beyond this galaxy. They both are a disgrace to their country up the good work the other half diddian Fan
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