After Pakistan defeated India in the finals of ICC Champions Trophy courtesy of a sensational performance with the bat and the ball, former Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara lauded the efforts of the men in green. In a column for the ICC, Sangakkara wrote that on the day of the final, Pakistan found two heroes, “One raw and brave, the other experienced and highly-skilled. Fakhar and Amir were brilliant.”
Applauding the duo Sangakkara wrote, “Opener Fakhar Zaman, playing in just his fourth ODI, emphasised better than anyone this resurgent belief, fighting off pre-match nerves, inexperience and illness. Like many of his youthful colleagues, he did not carry the psychological scars of previous failures to arch-rivals India and it showed.”
“Zaman batted freely and aggressively. Mixing attacking boundary options and smart strike rotation, he anchored the Pakistan total with the most important innings of his life. It was hard work for India’s bowlers, especially the spinners, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the stand-out bowler with a typically calm and clinical performance.”, he further added.
Complementing Mohammad Amir for his terrific spell with the ball Sangakkara said that Amir’s opening spell was sensational. “The in-swinging delivery to get Rohit Sharma was perfect and against Kohli he was undaunted by a dropped catch at first slip, nailing his man at the backward point immediately after. A few overs later he found the outside edge of Shikar Dhawan with a probing, bouncing delivery”, he wrote.
The former Sri Lankan wicketkeeper also credited the Pakistan captain and coach for bringing in the much needed positive influence in the team and credited them for keeping the team together and dreaming the impossible.