The Super 12 match in T20 World Cup 2022 between India and Pakistan was one of the most contested encounters between the two arch-rivals. The match turned out to be a heart-pounding thriller that kept the crowd engaged until the very end as India chased the 160-run goal to win the match by four wickets on the last ball of the match. In a seesaw match, both teams gave their all, and while India won the battle of nerves, Pakistan took away many of the positives.
Shoaib Akhtar was full of praise for the Pakistani team on his YouTube channel. The former Pakistan was quick to praise Pakistan’s heroes — such as Iftikhar Ahmed and Shan Masood, whose innings held steady for half a century after losing openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan on the cheap — and then their pacesetters Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, who hit India. brought them back early to 31/4.
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“Pakistan has done amazingly well. Don’t be down, you all played really well. India did really well… they won one of the best matches in history. It was a complete World Cup game. catch, run- out, no-ball, controversies, stumping,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel. “The World Cup has just started, the World Cup won’t start until India-Pakistan plays and the two teams face each other again. Pakistan will see India again later in this World Cup.”
Akhtar then gave special praise to the star of the evening, Virat Kohli, for his stunning 82 not out of 53 balls. Many hailed Kohli’s innings as the best of his best T20 bang, including the player of the match himself. And Akhtar, who has always expressed his support for the former India captain even during his low phase, called it the “greatest” performance of his life.
“Jab Irade toot-te hai toh yakeen bahar aata hai aur jab yakeen pukhta ho jata hai toh character bahar aata hai and uska name Virat Kohli hai(When you are down, self-confidence needs to be revived and when confidence is consolidated, character is channeled and Virat Kohli is a personification of the same) Akhtar noted.
“Mere khyal me zindagi ki sabse badi innings wo khel gaye. Wo isliye khel gaye kyunki unko yakin tha ki wo kar jayega (He played the biggest innings of his life). He could play the knock because he had the confidence and character), Akhtar explained.
The former Pakistan then came up with an unexpected take on Kohli regarding the Indian batter’s T20I career. “He’s back with a blast. I want him to quit T20I because I don’t want him to put all his energy into T20I cricket. With the same dedication as today, he can score three centuries in ODIs,” Akhtar said on Kohli.