5 Things Pakistan Cricket Win Over India Cricket In Asian Cup 2022 Taught Us
India and Pakistan have already won a game against one another in this year's tournament. Both sides clinched a nail-biting contest with five wickets in hand, coincidently, the game went down to the wire on both occasions.
India was the favorite to sweep the opposition the second time around as well until the later part of the second innings where Pakistan's brittle and untested middle order stood tall to deliver the goods and silence their critics.
In pursuit of 182, Pakistan scored 184 runs to claim the contest with a ball to spare with Iftikhar Ahmed hitting the winning four off Arshdeep Singh with two needed off two balls.
Here are the 5 important lessons not just for India, but for every cricket fan that the Indo-Pak clash had us learn:
Nothing Can Bring Pakistan Player Rizwan Down
Mohammad Rizwan injured his right knee while trying to save a Haris Rauf bouncer to go for a four. To save the extra runs, the wicketkeeper jumped high and landed on an odd angle that had him screaming in pain.
Commentators were in awe to see him continue to keep the wickets after the blow, limping his way till the end of the first inning.
Rizwan took their amusement to another level when he came to open the innings with Babar and ended his knock with 71 runs, converting singles into doubles for fun and keeping the Indian fielders in check throughout his inning.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa native was observed placing the ball in gaps where he could intentionally take a double since the fielders had to make a long run to reach the ball.
The Pakistan Cricket Board later confirmed that the batter has undergone an MRI scan for the leg strain early Tuesday.
But this should not surprise Rizwan fans, who saw him play for Pakistan in the 2021 T20 World Cup against Australia, a day after he was admitted to a Dubai hospital's ICU.
He was also the top scorer on either side in the contest with a 52-ball 67, however, Australia went on to qualify for the final and lift the trophy under Aaron Finch's captaincy.
Can Nawaz Be Pakistan's Cricket Jadeja?
Mohammad Nawaz's all-around performance would have made the Indian camp miss Ravi Jadeja even more.
Nawaz took three catches, registered economical figures of 1/25 in his four overs, and scored a match-winning knock of 42 (20). His clinical display in every department earned him a Player of the Match trophy as well.
This is what Jadeja has done on a lot of occasions for the national side. He also played an instrumental role in India's win in the tournament win against Pakistan, where his runs at death helped India chase 148 in the final over.
The irony is that it was Nawaz who took his scalp in the previous contest as well.
Now with another loss against Sri Lanka and Jadeja out of the tournament with a knee injury, the Asia Cup doesn't look like a trophy India now plans on lifting unless Afghanistan can upset the odds by defeating Pakistan with a heavy margin on Wednesday.
Pace Cartel: A Concern For India Cricket
Pace attack has been a huge matter of concern for Sharma's men as they have continued to leak runs in every Asia Cup game this year to their fast bowlers.
It has been observed that Hardik Pandya has been pushed to become India's third full-time seamer in Avesh Khan's absence. This hasn't helped India either.
Avesh is the latest injury scare to the Indian camp after Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel, who were injured even before the Asia Cup squad was announced.
Yuzu Chahal, Ravi Ashwin, and Ravi Bishnoi have tried their best to calm the storm whenever they have been given a chance to have a go, but fast bowlers are the need of the hour for the Men in Blue in death overs.
Both Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been sent packing by Pakistan and Sri Lankan bowlers in the Super 4 so far.
Only Arshdeep Singh has been impressive in the final overs where he was left with only seven runs to defend in both games, proving to be too less to save in six deliveries.
Middle Order'S Dependance On Pandya
Suryakumar Yadav's scores have been 18, 68*, 13, and 34 so far in this tournament with the only notable score of 68* coming against Hong Kong where he was awarded the Man of the Match award in India's 40-run victory over associate team.
Apart from that, he has not been able to make a strong impact when it mattered the most.
With Jadeja out of the picture as well, the middle order has indirectly been relying on Hardik Pandya, who is considered India's finisher in the death overs.
It's not Pandya's job to build innings, but he has been forced to go into this role in the last few games when India's top and middle order falls in quick succession.
With the extra pressure of bowling his full quota, this seems to have taken away his best version with the bat.
He walked away with the MOTM performance against Pakistan in the first contest but fell on a duck on the second ball of the second match against the arch-rivals.
He scored only 17 off 13 against Sri Lanka on Tuesday and Rishabh Pant's short stay at the wicket meant that the bowlers had to pad up as well.
Bishnoi Doesn'T Belong To The Bench
India seems to have found a way to produce one mystery spinner after another.
This time it's Bishnoi who was impressive on his Asia Cup debut when he scalped Babar Azam's wicket in his first over and almost took Asif Ali's wicket too had Arshdeep Singh held on to the catch.
He gave away only 26 runs in his four overs.
Despite his impressive outing, the 22-year-old was benched for the Sri Lanka game as Sharma played Ravi Ashwin in his place.
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