CWC 2023: Pressure And Pakistan Don't Go Hand In Hand When It Comes To ODI World Cup Clashes Against Team India

CWC 2023: Pressure And Pakistan Don't Go Hand In Hand When It Comes To ODI World Cup Clashes Against Team India

The Ahmedabad defeat further reaffirms that Pakistan feel the jitters when facing India at the World Cups and Saud Shakeel is the latest to vouch for that

Haridev PushparajUpdated: Thursday, October 19, 2023, 02:29 PM IST
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It was billed as the blockbuster encounter it is always know to be and one of the greatest rivalries in world sport: India vs Pakistan.

October 14th came and went and nothing much changed apart from a resounding Indian victory that showed the massive gulf that was developing between these two arch-rivals. India extended their overall ODI World Cup lead to 8-0 and have earned their bragging rights.

If the 228-run defeat in the Asia Cup was not a wake up call, then Pakistan did not read their opponents well enough coming into the Ahmedabad game.

What has done them in this time against India is the same factor that overwhelmed them every single time against India in World Cup history: The dreaded 'P' word.

It has been Pakistan's weakness for the longest time as they have been unable to cope with the pressure that comes with a game against arch-rivals India.

To make matters worse, on October 14th they were not just playing against 11 Indian players on the field but more than 100,000 spectators almost all of them supporting Team India.

It was as hostile and intimidating an atmosphere that any rival team can get and when you are a Pakistan team playing India in India, its a tough place to be. A cauldron-like atmosphere with a fully partisan crowd is the biggest of challenges.

Pakistan had the perfect opportunity to show their big match temperament and prove their mettle but failed again. The likes of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan struggled to apply pressure on India with their timid batting approach.

Everything boils down to pressure and their fear of failure or losing against India.

With Pakistan's middle order batsman Saud Shakeel revealing in an interview that his team was under 'extra pressure' in the match against India, it only proves that Pakistan can't handle the India game with the calculated calmness that is needed.

India-Pakistan matches are always about handling pressure and it is more so at the World Cups.

Captains might say that it is just another game during pre-match press conferences but everyone knows that it not 'just another game'.

Even though Pakistan have drawn a blank against India in ODI World Cups, the 'Men in Green' dominated India in one-day-international cricket in the 90s and handled pressure much better.

And as former India skipper Sourav Ganguly rightly said, this Pakistan team lacks the ability to handle pressure and may not go very far in the World Cup.

The batting meltdown that Pakistan had on October 14th where they went from 155/2 to 191 all out is inexplicable.

Losing eight wickets for 36 runs can be attributed to only pressure and a lack of resilience to fight.

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