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T20 World Cup 2024: Gary Kirsten laments Pakistan’s sub-par decision-making in narrow loss to India

T20 World Cup 2024 Gary Kirsten laments Pakistan's sub-par decision-making in narrow loss to India

Gary Kirsten. (Source – Getty Images)

Gary Kirsten criticizes Pakistan’s sub-par decision-making in their narrow loss to India in the T20 World Cup 2024. Following Pakistan’s disastrous campaign opener against the USA, confronting a formidable India was inevitably going to be a significant challenge. Contrary to all expectations, Men in Green performed admirably after winning the toss and electing to field in a match that experienced a lengthy rain interruption after the completion of the first over. Despite bowling India out for 119 with an over to spare, they fell short, finishing at 113/7 within their allotted overs.

During the post-match conference, the head coach of Pakistan, Gary Kirsten, was visibly disheartened by the loss. The former Indian head coach (2008-2011) intimated that given the abundance of talented players in the Indian team, setting a target of merely 120 was unlikely to facilitate an easy run-chase. Referring to the situation where Pakistan was comfortably positioned at 72/2 after 12 overs, requiring only a run-a-ball to secure victory, Kirsten expressed his profound disappointment over the team’s inability to capitalize on such a promising scenario.

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“Disappointing loss, that’s for sure. I knew 120 wasn’t going to be an easy target. If India got only 120, it was always going to be not the easiest. But, I think we had the game at 72/2 with eight overs left. Disappointing not to get across the line from the position we got ourselves into,” stated Kirsten in the post-match press conference as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

When questioned about where the game slipped from their grasp, Kirsten attributed the loss to flawed decision-making. He emphasized that the situation demanded far better strategic thinking and prudent reasoning. In the realm of international cricket, such errors are severely punished, and Pakistan’s self-inflicted mistakes during the chase were costly. Kirsten noted that he had anticipated a challenging wicket for batting and believed they had managed the chase proficiently, only to let it slip away in the final stages of the match.

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“Decision-making. Maybe, not so great decision-making. You’ve got the game on, run-a-ball, eight wickets in hand, decision-making at that point. That’s the game. That’s international cricket for you. You make mistakes like that, you are going to pay. I thought we made some poor decisions at important phases of the game. We knew it was going to be a tough wicket to bat on. We managed the chase very well but then just let it slip in the end,” added Kirsten.

Notably, the 120-run target that India successfully defended equaled the record for the lowest total defended by India in the history of the T20 World Cup, matching Sri Lanka’s defense of the same score against New Zealand a decade ago.

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