Cricket

“If you want to win big events, you have to play modern cricket”: Shoaib Malik praises Alex Hales and Jos Buttler after England’s win against India.

Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik praised Alex Hales and Jos Buttler for producing a masterclass in their T20 World Cup semi-final clash against India.

England outclassed India in all departments of the game to seal a 10-wicket win and book their place in the final against Pakistan, scheduled to be played at the MCG on Sunday (Nov 13).

Chasing a tricky goal of 169, England threw themselves into a shuttlecock and never allowed the Indian bowlers back into the game. The opening duo of Hales and Buttler took full advantage of downfield restrictions, putting them in a commanding position late in the power play.

The onslaught never stopped as they batted freely and exuberantly to crush Indian bowlers in every corner of the Adelaide Oval.

Shoaib Malik said Hales and Buttler’s fearless brand of cricket proved to be the difference between the two sides. While Hales went undefeated on 86 of 47 deliveries, Buttler scored 80 on 49 balls.

In a talk show titled “The Pavilion,” Shoaib Malik said (3:08):

“I think what I realized today is that if you want to win big events, you have to play modern cricket. I guess Alex Hales and Buttler proved it today. This is what Waqar bhai was also emphasizing.”

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Shoaib Malik felt that the power play he scored showed the difference between the two sides.

After batting first, India could only muster 168 on the board, thanks to a blistering 63-for-33 strike towards the end from Hardik Pandya.

India struggled to get to 38 on the power play, which included KL Rahul’s wicket. He had to leave after floating on the back of a long delivery from Chris Woakes, closing in on Buttler.

Rohit’s struggles in the tournament continued, with him scoring a doubtful 27 in 28 deliveries. Shoaib Malik felt that it was the powerplay score that turned out to be the difference between the two sides.

Even in the first semi-final between New Zealand and Pakistan, the Kiwis got a similar score at the end of the power play, and Pakistan’s starters took the game in style.

“I never said that India doesn’t know how to play modern cricket. What I said was that today’s difference between the two teams was this (today’s cricket). If we look at today’s stats, KL Rahul came early. He faced 5 balls to score 5″.

Shoaib Malik added:

“Rohit Sharma played 28 balls and scored 27 runs, but the difference was the power play. If we also take the New Zealand-Pakistan game, New Zealand was exactly in the same position as India today. So the difference was Alex Hales and Jos Carreras de Buttler in the first 6 overs”.

Before the semi-final, India were the only team to have won four group matches at the Super 12 stage, having won against Pakistan, the Netherlands, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

England’s progress towards the final four was shaken after losing to Ireland, but a resounding victory against New Zealand followed by a hard-fought victory against New Zealand paved their way to the semi-finals.

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