Sometimes it’s good to get hammered at the start of the tournament: Swann

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safari
25 Oct 2021 | 04:49 AM
authorcricket.com staff

Sometimes it’s good to get hammered at the start of the tournament: Swann

The former England offspinner also said that Babar Azam "at the minute is a different gravy with the bat"

Former England spinner Graeme Swann heaped heavy praise on Babar Azam after Pakistan defeated India for the first time in a World Cup encounter. The 42-year-old also said that this big defeat might actually help India in the long run as it will make them more hungrier. 

“Sometimes it’s good to get hammered at the start of the tournament because it feels like a real kick at the backside. The IPL being played just now, everyone saying India are the favourites, a bit of lethargy can creep in to a team. Maybe India will find their edge because of this defeat,” Swann told Cricket.com.

The Men in Blue could only manage a below-par total of 151 in Dubai and Pakistan chased it down without losing a single wicket. India lost Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav inside the powerplay and could only manage 36 runs in that phase. It was only because of Virat Kohli (49-ball 57) and Rishabh Pant (30-ball 39) they touched the 150-run mark.

Playing his first World Cup match against India, Afridi bowled two superb inswingers with the new ball to get rid of Indian openers Rohit and Rahul. While Rohit was undone by a superb yorker, Rahul missed an incoming delivery and ended up getting knocked over. Swann said it was those two deliveries that turned the game in Pakistan’s favour.

“When you chase a total in T20s, it’s five times easier. You know when to take risks and you can pace your innings accordingly. They didn’t have to take any risk. Those two early wickets of Rohit and Rahul, let’s just face it, those two were unbelievable deliveries. Swinging in at more than 90 mph, pitching on off stump and hitting the top of the middle. That was almost an unplayable delivery and then Rohit to face that yorker on the first delivery. That won the game for Pakistan.”

Pakistan have often struggled against India while chasing but Mohammad Rizwan (55-ball 79*) and Babar Azam (52-ball 68*) knocked India out cold in the second innings. The two put on 152 runs for the opening wicket and only left the field once the job was done. 

“Babar Azam at the minute is a different gravy with the bat. For ages in England we kept saying why Joe Root is not part of the famous big three. I mean, you have Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith and then it became the big four. Now Pakistan fans would say hang on a minute… I saw him score a century at Edgbaston. Oh my word, he is a seriously good player. And his partner at the other end, little Rizzy, he can bat as well

“Pakistan could easily win this tournament by winning all their games by 10 wickets or lose all their remaining matches, that’s how they go. They are dangerous, dangerous team.”

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India vs PakistanICC World Twenty20, 2021PakistanIndiaGraeme SwannBabar Azam

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