England Vs Pakistan Cricket World Cup 2019
Updated: Jun 21, 2020
England Vs Pakistan
World Cup 2019
3rd June 2019
We Pakistanis do not like to take the easy route.
And we do not make it easy for those around us. Not for the coaching staff, not for the pundits and certainly not for their supporters.
Their 'mercurial temperament' is worse than a cliche. Their off one day and on another day is almost a part of international cricket folklore. Sides facing them are forever perplexed wondering which Pakistan side are they going to face. The comically inept one OR the unbelievably gifted one living up to their potential.
And all of this makes their performance on any given day completely unpredictable. How difficult it is to predict their performance was showcased probably for the umpteenth time on today 3rd of June 2019.
Having lost twelve ODI's on the trot, losing to the lowest ranking side in the tournament, getting absolutely decimated by the side that had to play a qualifying round to be here, you could possibly not blame England if they took them lightly. How else could you explain them giving their side a day off before this game to enjoy a round of golf, them changing their winning combination from the side that clinically dismantled South Africa and after having won the toss, offering batting first to Pakistan on a solid batting wicket? Probably they wanted an earlier end to the game and enjoying another round of golf in the early afternoon?
Whatever notions did the English think tank have, quickly evaporated in the mildly sunny and pleasantly windy Trent Bridge, where to the English horror, it was the 'other' Pakistani team that had turned up.
This team was not afraid of the short ball. Whenever Archer and Co tried to bounce them out, Fakhar, Imam and Babar dispatched them disdainfully to all parts of the ground. Length balls were bludgeoned, spinners driven, cut and pulled mercilessly. Sarfraz who was driven to tears after the West Indian humiliation found all his guile and street-smart mannerisms in his characteristic fearless batting. Hafeez, getting a reprieve early on, was the batsman who was last seen at the Oval in THAT Champions trophy final two years ago. Courtesy of these efforts with healthy contribution from the tail, the target to chase for England was 348.
When Pakistan have this momentum going, then their bowlers tend to find their mojo. You could sense the fire in their bellies, the burning eyes, the hunger, the desire which had so sorely been missing in the previous ten plus games, suddenly was plainly visible for all who cared to see. When this spirit gets rekindled in the Boys in Green then it does not matter which team is facing them. They would have their work cut out and as England found at their peril, THIS Pakistan is almost invincible.
None of this of course helps in predicting the outcome of their next game. Unfortunately.
You see, we Pakistanis do not like to take the easy route.