Pakistan may have been humbled in their World Twenty20 opener against India but former captain Javed Miandad is confident that Mohammed Hafeez's men will stay alive to make the final where he expects them to face off against the arch-rivals once again. "Pakistan lost to India because they didn't bat well at all but remember they are still not out of the tournament and we could still see a Pakistan and India final," Miandad said after the seven-wicket defeat for the green shirts yesterday in Mirpur, Bangladesh. (Scorecard | Highlights | Match Report)
Miandad said the format of the tournament is such that teams could still make a comeback even after one or two defeats. "Pakistan still has three more matches to play and their group is a close one as Pakistan, India West Indies and Australia can all reach the semi finals. But definitely they will have to raise their game in the remaining matches," Miandad stated. (Match in pics)
The former national coach, who recently resigned from the Pakistan Cricket Board, said the team was not professional against India despite the hype and expectations surrounding the match. "A professional is supposed to deliver and the Pakistan team has not been doing that consistently. The running between the wickets today left much to be desired," he explained. (Also read: Pakistan skipper Mohammed Hafeez said his team was 20 runs short)
Miandad said India had been led very shrewdly and proactively by Dhoni and he read the situation well while using his bowlers well. "Our batsmen just didn't handle the Indian spinners well," he said.
Pakistan's former captain and most capped player Inzamam ul Haq said India were more proactive from the beginning. "Their body language was better than ours and I just felt we batted very poorly without any plan. The pitch was not easy to bat on the second time as it got sluggish and if the Pakistani batsmen had applied themselves a bit more and scored 25 to 30 runs more they could have won the match," he said.
"Our team appeared under pressure from the start and the run out of Kamran Akmal just increased this pressure. The Indians after the return of Dhoni appeared more calm and confident and this showed in the fact that they never allowed the Pakistani batsmen to forge a big partnership." (Related: Former captains want Afridi as Pak skipper)
Pakistan's former batsman Muhammad Yousuf also rued the team's insipid batting. "When you compare the two sides you can see a visible difference that India have batsmen who are technically more sound while presently I don't see a single player in our team who is technically correct or sound. Our batting was disappointing and a total of 130 runs was never going to challenge India with their batting depth," Yousuf said.
Similar opinions were shared by some other former players including former captain Rashid Latif, Mohsin Khan, Abdul Qadir and Aamir Sohail. "We need to see where we are going wrong. India appeared to be better organized and their bowling was very disciplined. They took a gamble with Amit Mishra and he delivered with a crucial spell," Latif said.