"Kabhi Pakistan, India Ka Final Ho Nahi Sakta": Shoaib Akhtar On Asia Cup Title-Decider
The Pakistan cricket team's chances of qualifying for the Asia Cup 2023 final of the event were dashed on Thursday as Sri Lanka won the virtual semi-final match. Pakistan had hoped to meet India in the title decider, but Charith Asalanka kept his cool in the final moments to lead Sri Lanka to win.
When Babar Azam's side were eliminated from the tournament, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar lamented the loss of a chance for the first-ever Indo-Pak Asia Cup final.
Shoaib Akhtar praised Pakistan pacer Zaman Khan, who was recruited into the team following the injuries to Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. Zaman didn't get a single wicket and gave up 39 runs in 6 overs. Nonetheless, his performance impressed Akhtar.
"You saw the match. Pakistan has been eliminated from the tournament. Zaman Khan was responsible for the match's outcome in Pakistan's favour. He landed the day before yesterday, and he bowled well in the Pakistan Super League. He was entirely responsible for Pakistan's chances of winning the match.
Shaheen Afridi took a couple wickets as well, but the credit belongs to Zaman. "He bowled extremely well," Akhtar stated in a YouTube video.
The Rawalpindi Express agreed that Pakistan deserved to make the final. However, he admitted that Sri Lanka performed better on the day.
"Pakistan deserved to win and advance to the Asia Cup final, but they were eliminated from the competition." They can be heavily chastised because they were billed as the 'favourites' but are now out of the tournament. Unfortunately, a match between Pakistan and India in the final has never occurred (kabhi Pakistan, India ka match (final) ho nahi sakta, kabhi hua nahi).
This was the opportunity, but Sri Lanka deserved to be among the finals. "They were the far superior team," he concluded.
Shoaib Akhtar, who was devastated by the loss, called it 'embarrassing' and urged Babar's troops to pull up their socks for the ODI World Cup, which begins next month.
"Having said that, this is a humiliating defeat." The fact that Pakistan has been eliminated from the tournament does not bode well.
Pakistan has a lot to consider. The captaincy may use more honing. I am quite disappointed. "I can't say anything else," he said.