London: Champions Trophy in England is set for a thrilling climax as arch rivals India and Pakistan face off for the 3rd time in a decade in a knockout game at an ICC event. However, Indian team is not as confident as they were before the previous two clashes and the reason is the absence of Pakistani legend Misbah ul Haq. Misbah made a vital contribution in Indian victory at both 2007 T20 final and 2011 World Cup semifinal and his absence can really hurt India.
During 2007 final, Misbah threw away his wicket with only 6 required off last 4 balls and during the 2011 semifinal, he put the entire crowd to sleep with his batting so we aren’t really sure how India ended up winning the game but that is what eventually happened. Now that he has retired, India needs someone else to step up and hand the game over to India.
Voicing this concern, a leading cricketing expert said ,”More than anything else, Misbah’s absence will really hurt India. They will have to win the game on their own and can’t expect any help from Pakistani batsmen. There are no Akmals in the side either so there is already no help from the fielders in terms of dropped catches and Pakistani bowling never helps India anyway. With Misbah, India could have expected a run rate of 3 runs per over during the middle overs from Pakistan but now that assurance is gone.”
“India will need to score 25-30 runs extra to compensate for Misbah’s absence and while trying to score those extra runs, they may lose their wickets quickly and hand the initiative to Pakistan. This adds an extra dimension to an already mouthwatering final”, the expert added.
Meanwhile, back in India, some TV channels are planning to boycott the coverage of the match and will show the Bollywood films ‘Border’ and ‘Gadar’ during the match to depict India-Pakistan contest.