If not for the 113-run stand between Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli, there was a vivid possibility that Pakistan could have walked away with a win. Pakistan lost a gruelling encounter but the toughest over of the night was handed to Mohammad Nawaz, who bowled the final over of the innings, defending 16.
Despite starting strong, the left-arm spinner made a crucial mistake, with a no-ball, that ultimately turned out to be the difference for Pakistan on the night, as they lost to their rivals India. But Pakistan skipper Babar Azam insisted that the Men in Green will definitely learn quickly from the loss against India.
"We are confident and we will learn from this. there were some good things and some mistakes too. We'll sit down and talk about this. The tournament has only started and there is a long way to go in the tournament. So the sooner we forget it, it'll be better for us. We have back to back matches and we'll be prepared for them,” Babar said in the post-match press conference.
"If you see, even the last over was tight and it went down to the last ball. You also have to give credit to him [Nawaz], bowling under pressure, under such high intensity, it is not easy. This will also be a learning experience for him. Whenever he faces such situations in the future, he'll try to do better,” he insisted.
While there was a surprise over Babar’s decision to hand the ball to the left-arm spinner in the 20th over, Babar reasoned it out, stating that they wanted to take the game deep and that led to the decision. However, extras – no-ball and wide – turned out to the difference for Pakistan.
"We could have bowled him earlier but we wanted to take the match deep. There was a possibility that they could have taken the charge against his spin earlier and at that stage we felt taking a wicket would have been better. But they played sensibly, they knew that we had an over left of a spinner. Unfortunately he bowled a no-ball and a wide, and was disappointed with that," the Pakistan captain added.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan’s pace unit started strong, India were reeling at 31/4, with pacers Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf putting India under immense pressure. However, the partnership between Rohit and Kohli turned things around for India. Babar credited Kohli, stating that he is a big-match player and his innings ultimately turned it around for the Men in Blue.
"Whenever Pakistan-India play matches, there is always extra pressure and you have to overcome it as much as possible. This is why he [Kohli] is a big player. The pressure was on him early on but he overcame that and the way he built his innings and the partnership, according to me that changed the match.
Pakistan’s next clash in the T20 World Cup is against Zimbabwe, on Thursday (October 27), at the Optus Stadium in Perth.