Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has criticized Pakistan’s fielding and highlighted that Usama Mir’s dropped catch of David Warner certainly cost them the game against Australia. However, Warner was dropped by Mir when he was batting at 10 and later smashed a 124-ball 163 and the Aussies set Pakistan a 368-run target in Bengaluru on Friday, October 20. And, then they bowled out Pakistan for 305 to win the game by 62 runs as well.
While talking about the game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Shadab Khan, the vice-captain, was out and Usama Mir was playing. He played for sure but dropped a catch. It was not a catch but the match because it was David Warner’s catch. He dropped a laddoo. If you drop a laddoo, you won’t get to eat a laddoo. Warner scored more than 150, he hit a lot. He was given one or two more chances. First Usama Mir dropped a catch and then the entire team said that they would drop catches off his bowling because he needed to realize how he had wronged them.”
Aakash Chopra also praised David Warner and Mitchell Marsh for smashing sixes all around the park during their double-century first wicket stand as well. He also questioned Babar Azam for opting to field first after winning the toss as well.
“How will it work out if you don’t hold your catches? They dropped catches and runs were scored. David Warner and Mitchell Marsh hit a lot. The Chinnaswamy ground is small in any case and the pitch is also extremely flat and they were hitting sixes with minimal effort. You don’t hit sixes that easily,” he shared. “Why do you opt to bowl first? I am repeatedly saying that if you are the weaker team, you should bat first. Pakistan won’t consider themselves weak at all and shouldn’t do as well, but have to look into the mirror a little and acknowledge that your team is not playing that well.”
Aakash Chopra has also criticized Haris Rauf for his poor performances in the ongoing World Cup and especially for his extremely expensive spell against Australia. He picked up three wickets but gave away 83 runs in eight overs as well.
Reflecting on Pakistan’s bowling performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra added: “Pakistan made a comeback in the end because of Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf also picked up wickets in the end, although Haris Rauf was leaking runs. It seemed like the tap had broken. The runs were flowing like water. Haris Rauf got hit a lot. He has already been hit a lot in this tournament. He came into this tournament with a lot of khauf (terror) but now Rauf is there but khauf (terror) isn’t. The batters are running after him even though I rate him very highly.”
However, Aakash Chopra also applauded Shaheen Shah Afridi for bowling a stunning spell. He also praised Usama Mir for a decent spell.
“Shaheen Shah Afridi picked up five wickets and conceded just 54 runs in his 10 overs in an encounter where 370 runs were scored. So I will say – very well done. You wanted your big players to stand up in this game and then they get counted. I felt Usama Mir was bowling decently. He was bowling alright. They needed to hold on to an odd catch, even Babar Azam dropped one, although he did get Steve Smith out. You somehow restricted them to 367 when it seemed like the total would be 400-plus,” Aakash Chopra concluded.