When the chips are down and the whole world is writing them off, that’s all Pakistan team need basically to prove the world wrong. This Champions trophy title win is nothing short of that. The situation was same in 1992, when Imran Khan and his men where in a tricky situation of winning every game to survive in the world cup and the rest is history, what they did after that gloomy situation is what defines the Pakistan cricket.
Same was the case in ICC wt20 2009, Pakistan lost badly to host England in the first game and was dusted by Sri Lanka in the league game. They again needed a win from every game to survive in the tournament, they did only survived, but they roared their way to the maiden Wt20 title glory. That’s why they are known as Cornered tigers. They will be thrashed in one game and they will out-class the opposition in other game with same arsenal.
As rightly said by Nasser Hussain in Commentary box This is Pakistan – “One Minute Down, One Minute Up”. Well, this is the beauty and resplendence of Pakistan cricket, and that’s why we love it, come what may.
Pakistan started the ICC champions trophy as least favourite team. As world was busy watching IPL, Pakistan youngster were preparing themselves in West Indies to show their effulgence in champions trophy.
Pakistan was thrashed in their first game by India. That performance was massively criticized by everyone be it Pakistani or non-pakistani, cricket lover or cricket non-lover. Everyone was saying they are here to fill the numbers. Now on wards Pakistan had to win both games to qualify for the semis. Next game was against South Africa who defeated Sri Lanka with utmost ease. Same was predicted by all the pundits for this game, but tide so fast that Pakistan all of a sudden looked a world class side. Their bowling looked venomous, fielding showed some teeth and Batting was somewhat fearless. Fakhar Zaman in his ODI debut looked replica of Sharjeel Khan with his aggression and fearlessness. Pakistan bowling mastery switch was finally On for the whole game. Then Pakistan locked horns with Sri Lanka in virtual quarter final game at Cardiff. Pakistan stroll past Sri Lanka again with some brilliant bowling and sloppy Sri Lankan fielding. Mind you, Calmness of Sarfaraz Ahmad and Mohammad Amir with the bat should not be discounted.
So, Pakistan reached semis final and everyone thought they have reached the pinnacle and now there is absolutely no chance to move further ahead in champions trophy. Semi final was with Group A leaders and hot favorite England. Just before the game, Pakistan had bad news of Mohammad Amir getting injured and was replaced by debutant Rumman Raees. Every ODD was against the green team, England were Cruising with Joe Root and Morgan on the crease but all of sudden you notice England batting was in tatters as they were bundled out for paltry low 200ish score. Every bowler in Pakistan team was in top notch form. But what was the best part of that game, was fearless and aggressive batting by Pakistan. They dismantled every cricket pundits prediction with their daredevil approach. They simply dazzled their way beyond any possible forecast.
After all this roller coaster ride, the climax of Champions trophy was most sweetest for the Pakistan. They did not only beat India in the finals but annihilated every possible horror they had of playing India in the world tournaments.
The victory against India was humongous. From Batsmen to bowlers , everyone chipped in. Fakhar Zaman showed that Pakistan is still producing aggressive batsman and classic bowling spell of Amir showed that Pakistan bowling is still world class.
The Pakistan’s road to champions trophy title for some may be just another Bolt from the blue. But it is very hard earned if you keep some factors in the mind. They have not played any International cricket in their backyard from past 8 years with the exception of Zimbabwe tour. Ask Indian test team how is it like, playing your cricket outside home every time. Also Pakistan ODI side was going nowhere until Sarfaraz Ahmad was made captain. The batting of Pakistan was old schooled. Surely this title glory was most needed by Pakistan and has been fresh breathe of air to the Pakistan cricket team. From the least favourite to the World title, this is what everyone likes about Pakistan cricket. Surely they are the most entertaining cricket team in the world. They provide you with the dose of tragedy, action and most unlikely Glories. If their matches are premiered in a cinema, I am sure they will be number crunchers.
Now in glance let’s look at the ten top displays of Pakistan in this Champions trophy:
10) Imad Wasim bowling vs SA
9) Fakhar Zaman batting vs SA.
8) Junaid Khan bowling vs SL
7) Mohammad Hafeez batting in Final.
6) Hassan Ali bowling vs Eng.
5) Mohammad Amir & Sarafaraz batting vs SL
4) Hassan Ali bowling vs SA
3) Partnership between Fakhar & Azhar vs England
2) Fakhar Zaman in Final.
1) Mohammad Amir bowling in Final