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It’s a green signal for men in green for more glory

India’s hegemony as Asia’s best team crushed

Gulf News

London: When Jasprit Bumrah got Fakhar Zaman caught behind, many thought that was the start of a Pakistan collapse. But it turned out to be something different.

Then when Azhar Ali at first slip dropped Indian skipper Virat Kohli, many thought that he had dropped the Champions Trophy itself.

Again the story did not go that way. In short, it was Pakistan’s day at the Oval. They came determined to become the champions, and they did it.

It is sometimes said that for a team to win a final, luck also needs to a play a crucial role.

Indian’s main batsman Kohli got dropped once, but expecting to get dropped again was hoping for super luck.

The difference seen was that India were the defending champions and hoping to remain so, while Pakistan had risen from a humiliating thrashing in the first match of the tournament to later conquer all their opponents.

Success comes to those who strive hard and not for those hoping it to happen.

It is a fact that Pakistan had a coach in Mickey Arthur who instilled confidence and kept pouring belief in the boys that they can win the tournament.

India, on the other hand, were debating whether to retain their coach Anil Kumble or end his services, with ten players reportedly not willing to listen to him. You can have the best team in the world, but to win a tournament everyone must be aligned.

Mohammad Amir swung the ball so well that it seemed as if former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram (the Sultan of swing) had transferred all his skills to him.

India had many experienced and senior players, but the Pakistan youngsters proved that experience is just a number for a team aiming to shock the defending champions.

It was interesting to listen to some disappointed Indian fans and their post mortem of the match.

Some said India should have batted first. Many were critical of the players, noting that Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin failed to turn the ball like Pakistan spinners, and should never be picked for the one-day format.

Some felt that Yuvraj Singh plays a good knock only once in ten innings and should retire and that Jadeja is an overrated player.

Surely the Indian bowling had been exposed, both by Sri Lanka chasing 321 to win and Pakistan scoring comfortably.

India’s hegemony as the best Asian team, by losing to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, has been crushed.

It’s time Indian selectors usher in youngsters if they hope to do well in World Cup 2019.

It is also important India play Pakistan in bilateral series, at least in the UAE, and benefit from getting familiar with Pakistan’s style of cricket.

Pakistan is a cricketing nation that is in exile, unable to host international cricket; this victory will now go a long way.

The men in green have their road ahead clear — with a green signal for more glory.

SPORT PICTURE OF THE DAY: January 18, 2018

Spain's Garbine Muguruza waves as she leaves Rod Laver Arena following her second round loss to Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia.