Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq believes that if the Babar Azam-led side had scored between 160-170 against England in the Men’s T20 World Cup final at the MCG, it would have been a fighting total.
He was also disappointed that Pakistan did not get a significant number of runs from the death overs phase, though he praised the bowlers’ efforts with the ball.
Pakistan lost Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Mohammad Haris cheaply after being forced to bat first. Despite the efforts of Shadab Khan and Shan Masood to revive the innings, Pakistan was unable to break free as England bowled brilliantly to keep them at bay.
Pakistan could only make 31 runs in the final five overs as batters perished in search of big hits, finishing with a below-par 137/8 in 20 overs, which England chased down in 19 overs.
“It is somewhat disappointing that Pakistan had a great chance to win the World Cup but were unable to do so. I have to commend the boys because making it to the final is no easy task, and it’s a huge accomplishment to be there from where the boys started.
“I believe the score was below par. Pakistan performed admirably until the 15th-16th over. However, they were unable to score an additional 20-25 runs in the final four to five overs. I believe a score of 160 to 170 would have been a competitive total.
“England would have been under a lot of pressure chasing a score like that. Pakistani bowlers put in a valiant effort. The good news was that their body language was excellent. Pakistan could have also won the game (in the final). People were talking about a rematch of the 1992 World Cup, and I thought Pakistan could win “According to Haq’s YouTube channel The Match Winner.
With the ball, Pakistan’s pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf took three England wickets in power-play. However, they were unable to remove a tenacious Ben Stokes from the crease, who smashed an unbeaten 52 to lead England to their second T20 World Cup title.
“Pakistan, in my opinion, did not play good cricket. It was a far superior team. But the good news for me in this tournament and previous ones is that this team did not give up in any situation, regardless of how small the score was. Whatever the situation, this team fought valiantly.”
“In the end, we saw that a score of 137 was meaningless. Despite the fact that Pakistan lost the final, the bowlers’ body language was not bad. There will be criticism following this defeat, but the important thing to remember is that they fought hard “Inzamam also contributed.
Inzamam, who won the ODI World Cup in 1992, stated that he would understand the mindset of players right now after losing a major tournament final. “We also lost the World Cup final in 1999. I recall how we spent our days following the loss. As a result, I understand how these players must be feeling following the loss. But I also remember how it felt to win the World Cup in 1992. I know what it’s like to win a world cup and to lose a world cup final.
“The general public is now aware of this. The important thing was how Pakistan came back in the tournament. It was fantastic from where they started to where they finished. Babar Azam and his team deserve full credit. The best part was that this team demonstrated a fighting spirit.”
Inzamam concluded by recognising the importance of support staff in keeping the team together as a unit. “I’d like to thank the coaching staff, which included Saqlain (Mushtaq), Mohammad Yousuf, Matthew Hayden, and Shaun Tait, for their efforts. Their contribution was also significant, though it may not be obvious from the outside.
“However, the support staff plays an important role in helping the team gel, not allowing body language to deteriorate, and maintaining the players’ confidence. I am confident that the team will work hard again and make the necessary changes to achieve better results.”