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Gloom in Pakistan camp after India bashing

February 16, 2015 19:32 IST

Pakistan pacer Mohammad Irfan outside the team’s hotel in Adelaide. Photograph: Vipin Pawar/Solaris Images

Nothing new. Pakistan lost yet again to India in a World Cup match.

This time, though, there is even more gloom within the Pakistan camp as they did not expect defeat.

Most of the Pakistan players thought that this was the best chance to beat India, who had a very poor build-up to the World Cup. Three defeats in the tri-series plus the warm-up thrashing at the hands of Australia had raised Pakistan team's confidence.

- Catch all the action from the World Cup, here

But when India plays Pakistan, a team low on confidence can do what Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men did on Sunday: lift itself from the gloom and produce an unexpected performance.

Since the 76-run defeat gloom has descended on the Pakistanis. It seemed as if the team had left the Inter-Continental hotel in Adelaide after the match.

All the players, except the pair of Ehsan Adil and Nasir Jamshed who did not play in the match, had breakfast in their rooms. The team officials had their mobile telephones on voicemail while chief selector Moin Khan, manager Naveed Cheema and media manager Agha Akbar were unavailable for a comment.

The players had planned an outing anticipating victory over India. A top Pakistani businessman had promised that he would treat the whole team to dinner at his restaurant in the suburbs of Adelaide if they won.

The team management had a lengthy meeting on Monday afternoon, during which a post-mortem of the defeat was done. The consensus was that the match was lost in the middle overs of both the innings. The thinking was that Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq did not attack much after Shikhar Dhawan fell.

But this was nothing new, as Misbah is known for trying to contain rather than get wickets. The golden rule in One-day internationals is to get wickets to slow down the opponent. Misbah forgot it.

When a dangerous batsman like Suresh Raina came in, he used his sixth bowler and that allowed the Indian left-hander to settle down.

The plan to open the innings with Younis Khan also did not come off. The same was the case with leg-spinner Yasir Shah, selected as a 'surprised package' for this World Cup. But the Pakistan management forgot about the Indian batting's skill against spinners.

They now feel that it would have been better to play seamer Ehsan Adil in place of Shah.

Mohammad Irfan was also projected as a "trump card" in the bowling attack but he looked out of sorts. He was first warned for running onto the danger zone and then again for bowling a beamer in the final overs.

"Forget and move on," is the message given to the players by captain Misbah-ul-Haq. However, the skipper himself knows it’s easier said than done.

A defeat against India is not easily forgotten. It will take time.

Apostrophe Content and Entertainment

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