- Feb 24, 2024
- Jun 29, 2023
The Indian team was defeated in the Super 4 clash opener of the Asia Cup 2022 against Pakistan at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Pakistan hunted down the target of 182 with five wickets and a ball to spare, credits to headline knocks from Mohammad Rizwan, who scored 71 runs, and Mohammad Nawaz, who scored a game-changing 42 runs, which titled the balance in favour of Pakistan to ensure victory.
India was forced to make some changes to their bowling attack due to Ravindra Jadeja’s injury and Avesh Khan being sidelined with a fever. Jadeja’s exit from the tournament is a crushing blow for India, but the Men in Blue have enough arsenal in the spin department to replace the all-rounder. While many expected Ravichandran Ashwin to slot in for Jadeja for the super-four clash against the archrivals, the Indian management went ahead with Deepak Hooda and Ravi Bishnoi as replacements.
Ashwin, the ace off-spinner, has taken 64 scalps in 54 T20I matches at an average of 21.5 and a superb economy rate of 6.78. He has been in and out of India’s white-ball setup for the last few months but has been more of a constant in the side since the 2021 20-20 World Cup 2021.
After Ashwin missed the Super 4 game against Pakistan, Hafeez explained the reason behind Ashwin’s omission. He recalled a memory from the 2014 Asia Cup India-Pakistan encounter where Pakistan won a nail-biting last-over encounter by one wicket. He gave due credit to his former teammate Shahid Afridi for Ashwin’s recent absence from India’s XI.
“Why Ashwin not playing regularly in recent past PAKvIND matches. Credit to Shahid Afridi Boom Boom master strokes in Asia Cup 2014,” Hafeez tweeted.
— Mohammad Hafeez (@MHafeez22) September 5, 2022
India got to a score of 246 runs against Pakistan at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur while batting first. Hafeez scored 75 runs at the top to guide Pakistan closer to the target before getting out on Ashwin’s delivery.
Ashwin bowled the last over when Pakistan needed 10 runs to win and got Saeed Ajmal out the first ball. But Afridi, who scored 34runs from 18 balls, smashed two consecutive sixes on the third and fourth delivery to get the win for Pakistan.
Ashwin ended the game as India’s best bowler by taking three wickets and conceded only 44 runs in 9.4 overs. India failed to qualify for the finals with only two wins in group stage fixtures and Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka in the 2014 Asia Cup final.