Mohammad Rizwan
Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan playing a "upper-cut" to third man during his knock of 43 against India. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Pakistani top-notch batters, including the world No 1 T20 batter Babar Azam, could not read the Indian pacers, who came with a different plan — to surprise Pakistani batsmen with short balls. And, they executed their plan to perfection.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar led the attack and was well-supported by his fellow pacers Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan and Hardik Pandya. Pakistan batters never looked settled against the Indian pace attack. Though Mohammed Rizwan put up some resistance, it was not enough to take Pakistan to a comfortable total.

It was disappointing to see batters falling to short deliveries on a flat batting wicket and were definitely short of 20 runs at least, despite fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani’s big-hitting in the last two overs.

Full house

The only left-handed batsman, Fakhar Zaman, also did not regain his form against Indian and fell cheaply to a short ball. Brief partnership between Rizwan and Iftikhar was the only consolation for the Pakistani fans at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, which wore a full house.

Pakistan were definitely short of a left-arm fast bowler and Shaheen Afridi was greatly missed. Debutant Naseem Abbas Shah, 19, brought a lot of excitement in the match with the wicket in the first over of K. Rahul, sending strong signals to the Indian team. Despite the injury, the braveheart Shah managed to take two big wickets for 24 runs in his debut match.

Pakistan’s leg-spinner Mohammad Nawaz bowled beautifully claiming three wickets for 33, but he could not save the match, though he took it the second last ball of the innings. Great effort, but Pakistan needto review their bowling attack and the batters must control their nerves in their next match against India.