Former India opener Aakash Chopra gave a fitting answer to Shoaib Akhtar after the latter boasted about Pakistan’s ability to fight back when cornered. Pakistan, on Wednesday, beat New Zealand to end their unbeaten start to the World Cup and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. With seven points from as many games, Pakistan can now make it to the last four if they win their remaining two games and the other results go their way.
Pakistan’s unpredictability is at its best in the ongoing World Cup. They suffered a crushing loss against West Indies and India but beat favourites England, South Africa and New Zealand to remain in contention. It looked all over for them when India thrashed them in their fifth game, leaving them with just three points.
However, with England losing two games in a row and Pakistan winning two, the Men in Green are now serious contenders for the semifinals. Pakistan put up a clinical display with both bat and ball to beat New Zealand. Bowling first, they managed to restrict New Zealand to 237 for 6. At one stage, New Zealand were reeling at 83 for 5 before Jimmy Neesham’s unbeaten 97 and a fifty from Colin de Grandhomme took them to a respectable total.
In reply, Pakistan lost Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman cheaply but an unbeaten century from Babar Azam took them over the line. Haris Sohail also impressed with the bat, scoring 68 to take the game away from Pakistan.
After the game, a delighted Shoaib Akhtar took to Twitter to laud his team’s ability to bounce back, writing:
“Never corner Pakistan. We become tigers when you do that. Congratulations & well done boys.”
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) June 26, 2019
However, Aakash Chopra was not at all impressed with Shoaib Akhtar‘s comment. The ex-cricketer-turned-politician rightly pointed out that Pakistan themselves are responsible for their poor condition. He also pointed out that Pakistan do not bounce back every time they get cornered, writing:
“But who corners Pakistan, brother? It’s your own team that plays itself into a situation that demands desperate measures….and it’s not that Pak bounces back every time too. Or else would’ve won more than one World Cup.”
But who corners Pakistan, brother? It’s your own team that plays itself into a situation that demands desperate measures….and it’s not that Pak bounces back every time too. Or else would’ve won more than one World Cup. https://t.co/8IdEWsC0eB
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 26, 2019