Former Indian captain and batting great Sunil Gavaskar has rated Pakistan’s current squad as their “weakest ever in World Cups”, expressing his disbelief at the decision by Misbah-ul-Haq to go into the crunch match against India with a part-time wicketkeeper.
Defending champion India extended its winning streak over regional rival Pakistan to six matches at the World Cup with a lopsided 76-run victory Sunday at the Adelaide Oval. For Pakistan, it was another major disappointment at the showpiece event for the one-day version of the game.
In an interview with NDTV, Gavaskar, who is now a well-known voice in the commentary box, cited a lack of self-belief and confidence as the major reason for Pakistan not being able to beat India in World Cups.
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The first World Cup meeting between the two teams was in 1992 – the last time the tournament was co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand – and India has continued its winning sequence in head-to-head World Cup matches since then.
According to Gavaskar, though, the current squad Pakistan has fielded at World Cups lacks quality and depth.
“This Pakistan side is the weakest ever to have competed at the World Cups. In big matches you should always go with your best players. Virat Kohli being dropped by part-timer wicketkeeper Umar Akmal was the turning point of the match. Pakistan always had a chance when they restricted India to 300 but they seem to lack self-belief when they face India in World Cup matches.”
Gavaskar echoed former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq’s sentiments, who termed the failure to break the World Cup ‘jinx’ as a ‘mental blockage.’
“I can’t find a suitable word to describe what goes wrong when we chase against India, but it’s more like a mental blockage of players.”
Pakistan take on the West Indies in Christchurch on Saturday and captain Misbah-ul-Haq said it was time to move on from the India defeat.
“We can’t think of the India loss anymore,” said Misbah.
“If you just keep brooding over it then it will be really difficult to perform well. So I think we need to win the next game. That’s the only way to stay in the tournament.”