Before I dissect the game or should I say analyze the game, I would like to say: Ramiz its very cheek of you to tell Hafeez: “YOU have never been able to beat India in the world cup format?” Hafeez was already in a distraught and did not pay much attention to Ramiz’s off the cuff sort of comment and he started blabbering about how the team failed in building up a partnership. At other times he or anyone would have said, Ramiz you were also a part of the previous teams which could not beat India in the previous world cups!
Now, according to me the first mistake Hafeez made was not just in opting to bat after winning the toss, because one way or the other people would have said the same thing, he should have opted to field. It doesn’t matter when you win but, there is always a lot of criticism and people come up with the IFs and BUTs theory when you lose.
IMO, the mistake Hafeez did was retaining the same team that played against South Africa. There should have been one change at least. Yasir Arafat has been an absolute bummer, he should have brought in Abdul Razzaq in his place to boost up the batting department. The trivial talks about Razzaq is finished or over the hill or a spent force is same as Yasir playing a nothing innings with bat and ball.
The Pakisani batting collapse was expected because, that’s the way Pakistani batting line up is, they always play this way, that way or the highway! They show sporadic brilliance and then the next day they are absolutely dimwit dolts.
Seeing the meager total on board, Hafeez was nervous from the outset i.e., when the team came in to field, he started on a negative note, instead of being aggressive he was defensive, despite the fact that Raza got Gambhir on a duck on the second ball, Hafeez’s field placement was none less than Misbah’s ~ Absolutely defensive! Perhaps his own batting was also a reflection of Misbah’s batting, scoring 14 runs in 29 balls is not only pathetic, but “disgustipatingly” pathetic.
Hafeez did not give Umar Gul a slips fielder when he bowls at an express pace of 140+ and that proved how vital it is to keep a slips for Sehwag and Kohli when the outside edge of Sehwag flew off for a four of the bowling of Shahid Afridi. There was no slips fielder at all, he was allowing easy singles to the Indians and they were taking advantage of the lose balls.
If you drop two catches of an inform player like Kohli especially defending a total of 129 runs there is no way you can win a match.
The other blunder Hafeez did was he did not bowl until the 12th over which is a big mistake because, when Raza got Gambhir out, Hafeez should have bowled and added more pressure from the other end, instead he brought in Gul and Arafat letting the Indians off the hook ~ the momentum shifted from that very moment.
This proves Hafeez is not mentally strong when he gets under pressure, too much talk about him that he is a professor or speaks better English is not the need of the hour it is your ability to handle pressure and make the right decisions that is important. And, that is the difference between a wining captain and a losing captain.
Never mind, all is not lost, Pakistan can beat Australia who are already through to the semi-finals and they have nothing to lose but it will be a crucial match for Pakistan, a must win, a do or die to stop India or South Africa by virtue of a win against Australia. So, go ahead Pakistan chill out, relax, think about it, do your homework and come prepared when you meet the OZ’s on October 02, 2012 and keep the rain gods happy because a washout means one point and that is not enough. Good luck.