Pakistan the most unpredictable team known to be did the predictable thing. When people were writing off the team for being rusty and divided, they wanted to prove them how wrong they are and started to put their act together and started playing like one unit. They were peaking at the right time just like the 1992 team under Imran Khan.
Younus Khan is no Imran Khan in terms of character, personality, qualifications, communication skills or even his leadership qualities and his control over the boys. In fact he is a total contrast to Imran Khan yet, there are a few things that will be similar. Apart from the surname of Khan, both won the first ever world cups for Pakistan. And, both announced their retirements immediately after the tournament.
Younus Khan did the right thing. I have been very harsh on Younus for the silly mistakes he made during the tournament but, that is my enthusiasm and over-expectation from the Pakistani captain. With all his idiosyncrasies and his serendipities Younus managed to be a successful captain. All is well that ends well and that is how the world sees things in the history and record books. I salute Younus Khan for what he did as a captain.
Who says twenty20 is only a one man show? Yes, one man can change the scene or the complexion of the game but, it is the team effort that makes it possible to win a major tournament like this. Shahid Afridi could be seen as an obvious demolition man with this two brilliant performances in the semis and the final.
If you analyze the match now, the proceedings started by the young 17 year old Aamir who nailed the so-called player of the tournament in his first over by his intelligent and accurate bowling and the stalwart Abdul Razzaq took the 3 Sri Lankan wickets and applied the breaks. Within the first 9 overs Sri Lanka’s top order was back into the dugout. It was a team effort.
If you analyze Pakistan’s batting, yes Shahid Afridi played a great knock, but you cannot ignore Kamran Akmal’s and the 19 year old Shahzaib Hasan Khan’s contribution. Playing the first six overs without losing a wicket settles the dugout atmosphere, it gives the captain a sense of relief and also to the middle order that there is a foundation that is laid for them to work on solid footings.
A medium high total like 138 posted by Sri Lanka may not look big, but it is often very dangerous as it creates a sense of complacence, keeping the required run rate and the wickets in hand is very important and thats what Pakistan did.
Most people think that Shoaib Malik played like a wuss, but come to think of his role, it was much needed for the time and situation. Shahid Afridi was the aggressor and Malik played the role of a second fiddle, he admitted that Afridi played brilliantly and he calmed him down to stay at the crease for a longer period of time.
Afridi changed the course of the game by hitting Murali for a six followed by a four and he sealed the match in Udana’s over with yet another six. Afridi is definitely the player of the tournament because of his 176 runs, 11 wickets, two brilliant performances, one in the semi-final and the second in the final. Dilshan’s batting in the tournament was good, but Afridi’s over all performance with bat and ball was far superior and he excelled where Dilshan failed. So, he is the champion of the Champions.