New Delhi: A defeat against India is always hard to swallow. Pakistan fans though are hurt more because the 'shabby' performance in their team's seven-wicket humiliation on Friday may continue against other strong opponents. Pakistan next face Australia and West Indies in ICC World Twenty20. (Scorecard | Highlights)
Asked to bat, Pakistan batsmen failed to get going and could only post a paltry 130/7 in the full quota of overs - a target chased down with nine balls to spare. The lack of a fight has left Pakistan fans shattered. "Well the loss didn't affect me but I was only disgusted at our batsmen's slow and very cautious approach," wrote a fan on a popular cricket website in the country. "At times I wanted to enter the stadium thru my TV screen and scold them (lo)l," he added. (Also read: Skipper Mohammad Hafeez blasts Pakistan's effort vs India)
His views were shared by many who were responding to a forum titled - How did the defeat versus India affect you? - on the website. "Not that much...because everyone was expecting this as it a world cup match..nothing new," wrote another cricket enthusiast.
Interestingly, Pakistan have never beaten India in a World Cup. It is a record that Pakistan fans want their national team to erase but some have also been urging to reduce the hype around clashes between the two rivals. "Pak needs to stop treating all India matches as something world changing," explained a local cricket fan. "Take it like any other match. If you lose, think its ok. Ironically this attitude will help you win." (Also read: MS Dhoni impressed by Amit Mishra's exploits vs Pakistan)
It is the 'attitude' though which may have also hurt Pakistan's prospects in the game. It was learnt a day prior to the opening Super-10 match that skipper Mohammad Hafeez and coach Moin Khan had quarreled over team selection. Former Pakistan skippers had even urged the team to play fearless cricket despite debacles. "Any game against India is a pressure game because of the tensions and expectations associated with the match," Imran Khan had said on Thursday. "But I would only advise our players to go out and play fearlessly without any fear of defeat. They must play their natural game and not worry about losing." (Read in full)
It was not meant to be however, as Pakistan did not just lose the match but also failed to show character that comes from playing hard and playing strong.