India delivered a resounding victory against arch-rivals Pakistan in front of a packed Ahmedabad crowd on Saturday. However, the aftermath of the match was marked by Pakistan's team director, Mickey Arthur, expressing his discontent with several aspects of the event.
The match took place at the magnificent Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India, on October 14, 2023. What stood out most prominently was the overwhelming presence of Indian supporters.
With a capacity of over 130,000, the stadium was a sea of blue jerseys, creating an electric and intimidating atmosphere. This was compounded by the fact that Pakistan had not played in Indian conditions for an extended period.
Mickey Arthur lashes out at ICC
Mickey Arthur, renowned for his passionate approach to coaching, voiced his concerns about the atmosphere surrounding the match.
He remarked, “It didn't feel like an ICC event; it seemed more like a bilateral series, a BCCI event! I didn't even hear the iconic ‘Dil, Dil Pakistan' song played.” Arthur's comments highlighted the absence of the traditional neutral and inclusive ambiance that characterizes ICC tournaments.
On the field, India's performance was nothing short of impressive. Captain Rohit Sharma emerged as the standout player of the match, scoring a commanding 86 runs from just 63 balls.
His exceptional innings played a pivotal role in India's comfortable chase of Pakistan's modest target of 192, with 19.3 overs to spare.
India's bowlers, spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, showcased remarkable skill and precision, effectively containing Pakistan's batting lineup.
Rohit Sharma's dazzling batting display, which featured a wide array of strokes, left Pakistan grappling to respond to the relentless Indian onslaught.
When questioned about Pakistan's batting collapse during the match, Mickey Arthur admitted, “We appeared somewhat timid in our overall performance tonight. I would have preferred us to be more aggressive and seize the moment.
“It's a massive occasion, but I felt we retreated into our shells a bit. Going from 155 for two to 190 all out is just not acceptable.”
He acknowledged India's strong bowling performance but lamented Pakistan's inability to capitalize on their strong start.
In terms of the impact of this loss on Pakistan's World Cup campaign, Arthur maintained a positive outlook, emphasizing that it was still early in the tournament.
Pakistan have played three matches, winning two of them. He stressed the importance of maintaining composure, staying focused, and fine-tuning strategies for upcoming matches.
While the result was disappointing for Pakistan, Arthur remained optimistic about their prospects in the tournament, urging the team to maintain their composure and focus on future matches while addressing areas of improvement.