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Friday, April 22, 2011


Pakistan's former World Cup winning captain, Imran Khan, blamed the national team to have a flawed batting order for its 29-run defeat against arch-rivals India in the semi-final of the recently concluded ICC World Cup 2011.
"I kept on saying that you need to send your best batsmen at the top so that they can save wickets”, said Khan while talking to the media on the sidelines of a function arranged to honour Elite panel umpire, Aleem Dar. Dar was one of the officials in the high-pressure World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka.

Flawed batting order cost Pakistan semi-final game against India – Imran Khan
“When you preserve your wickets, the pressure transfers to the fielding side and if you have couple of hard hitters in the team, you can always score quick runs in the final overs", he further added.
The cricketer-turned-politician said that the same strategy was followed by the team in the knockout matches during 1987 and 1992 editions of the World Cup.
The former cricket star of Pakistan admitted that losing to the Men in Blue, led by Dhoni, in the semis still hurts and it is hard to accept the loss. Imran reckoned that Afridi and his men crumbled under pressure.
Imran Khan said that the Cornered Tigers were outstanding throughout the mega event prior to collapsing under the pressure of the semi-final. The former Pakistani cricket captain said that he was not expecting that the team would come under pressure.
"What disappoints me is that this team overall performed very well and reached the semi-finals when no one expected it to go this far”, said the 58-year-old. "But once they had got into the semi-final and knew it was going to be a high pressure match against India, the players should have been ready for the situation. Unfortunately they buckled under the pressure", he further added.
The former all-rounder ace is frustrated that the co-hosts were under immense pressure of playing in front of home crowd as well as their title favourites tag. He said that the whole batting line-up of India, except forVirender Sehwag, was under pressure and this led to quite a number of soft dismissals as well.
He said that pressure on the Indian team could be better judged from the fact that a world class performer like Sachin Tendulkar offered at least four chances to the opposition to send him back to the pavilion.
Khan further commented that the under pressure Men in Blue seemed to be all set for a defeat but Pakistani batsmen failed to absorb the pressure on themselves and collapsed. Imran said that once wickets started falling, the pressure started to mount on incoming batsmen and it became difficult for them to perform. The legendary all-rounder noted tactical mistakes in the game as well.

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