What's the story?
Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar has slammed Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for his decisions in the encounter against India, stating that the Pakistan captain was confused in his approach to the high-voltage clash.
In case you didn't know..
India maintained their unbeaten record against arch-rivals Pakistan as they inflicted a crushing 89-run defeat via DLS method at Old Trafford. With the crucial win, the Men in Blue extended their unbeaten streak to 7-0 in World Cups against their neighbours.
Pakistan won the toss but chose to bowl first in overcast conditions, which proved to be an erroneous decision. Riding on commendable performances from the top order, India posted a huge score on the board that practically batted Pakistan out of the game.
The opening pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul settled into the match quickly as they provided a solid platform for a mammoth total. The Pakistani bowlers failed to apply any pressure as the opening duo handled Mohammad Amir and Co with relative ease.
Rohit played a superb innings of 140 off 113 balls before giving his wicket away to Hassan Ali. But skipper Virat Kohli continued the good work as India posted a total of 336/5 in 50 overs.
The Indian bowlers did their job as Kuldeep Yadav put on a stellar performance. Pakistan could only muster 212/6 in their rain-shortened quota of 40 overs.
The heart of the matter
Sachin Tendulkar keenly followed the match like many other high-profile ex-cricketers, and was struck by the indecisiveness of the Pakistan captain. He said in an interview:
“I thought he (Sarfaraz) was confused because when Wahab was bowling he had a short mid-wicket. And when Shadab came on to bowl he had a slip for him.
"In these conditions, it becomes difficult for a leg-spinner to grip the ball, especially when he’s not getting the right line and length. That is not the right way to approach a big game."
Tendulkar also criticized the lack of adaptability on the part of the Pakistani players. He couldn't understand why they stuck to their predetermined plans even when it was clear they weren't working.
“They lacked imagination, lacked out of the box thinking. If the ball is not moving around much, you don’t continue bowling over the wicket. Wahab went around the wicket but it was too late by then," Tendulkar said.
"Hassan was the only guy to get the ball to move off the surface. I would have told them to change the angle and do something different. I never thought we were going to lose a wicket," he added.
India will face Afghanistan next on Saturday, while Pakistan take on South Africa on 23rd June. This loss has affected Pakistan's chances of qualifying for the semifinals in a big way; they will now have to win practically all of their remaining matches to challenge the top 4.