LONDON: In the words of Pakistan cricket team manager Talat Ali, it was Indian cricket legends like Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar, who played a massive role in their maiden Champions Trophy win earlier this year.
The ‘Men in Blue’ were hot favourites to clinch the title at the Oval but Pakistan stunned Virat Kohli and co to lift their maiden title. Ali has now revealed that everybody wrote them off before the final and that fired up the entire team to perform at their optimum levels.
Naming the likes of Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar, Ali said that they wanted to answer back the critics on the pitch, with their performance and that is what they did.
“India wrote us off in the final. I was listening to the analysis of Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri and they gave us no chance. That fired up the boys. It was called a no-contest and we were written off. We said let the bat and ball do the talking,” Ali was quoted.
“We had quite a bit of luck. Difficult to figure out why India put us in after winning the toss. With our strong bowling attack, once we put decent total on the board, it was going to be tough for India,” Ali added.
Pakistan saved their best for the last as they humbled arch-rivals India by a huge margin of 180 runs to win their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title. This also completed Sarfraz Ahmed’s team’s remarkable comeback, since losing their tournament opener to the same opposition.
Be it Fakhar Zaman’s brilliant century at the top for Pakistan or Mohammad Amir’s brilliant opening spell as he removed India opener Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli, it was Pakistan’s day for sure as they stunned all those who felt that India were favourites to defend the title.