December 10, 2023

The Pakistan cricket fraternity showered the Indian team with praise for their incredible run to the final of World Cup, with the legendary Wasim Akram saying their cricket “is in a good place” despite the loss to Australia in the title clash. Australia ended India’s run in the final with a six-wicket victory to extend their dominance in the tournament. “Obviously they must be shattered to lose the final but in cricket these things happen. India had one bad day, and unfortunately, it came in the final,” Akram said.

“You look at their structure, the money for players, the well thought out programs and the back up talent and they really just need to continue doing these things. Their cricket is in a good place,” he added.

Akram said as a former player he knows how mentally tough the Australians are in knockout match.

“I was captain when we played them in the 1999 World Cup final and although we had beaten them in the league stage, in the final they were a different side just like yesterday in Ahmedabad.” Some, like former Pakistan wicketkeeper Rashid Latif, felt the Indian team was in no way inferior to the Australians.

“Maybe it is just a psychological thing with the Indian players. This team was worthy of winning the World Cup final but all credit to the Australians for showing once again how mentally tough and organised they are in their sports,” Latif said.

Latif termed seamer Mohammad Shami’s bowling in the World Cup as outstanding.

“You look at the way he has come up and done so well. He was in my opinion the standout player for India in this World Cup.” Pakistan’s former captain Misbah ul Haq felt that the Australians had read the pitch better than the Indians and the toss proved vital.

“A side batting first required over 300 on this pitch to defend it,” he said.

Misbah also praised Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for leading by example throughout the tournament.

“I think the younger players must have learnt a lot from these two in the dressing room and otherwise in this World Cup.” Former players Basit Ali and Kamran Akmal believed that it was time for India to start focussing on building a T20 side for next year’s World Cup.

“…But it will be difficult for the Indian selectors to not consider Rohit, Virat or Jadeja for the series in South Africa or even the Champions Trophy in 2025,” Basit said.

Former batsman Mohsin Khan said that Pakistan must learn from how India and Australia had adapted themselves to the requirements of modern day cricket, especially in the World Cup.

“Instead of looking at India’s defeat we must appreciate the fact that this year they have already played in two ICC finals, losing both times to Australia. They are doing something right.”

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