The India-Pakistan game in T20 World Cup proved cricket is a great leveller

Dawid Malan target

The India-Pakistan game in T20 World Cup proved cricket is a great leveller

The India-Pakistan game in T20 World Cup proved cricket is a great leveller

October 27, 2021

Author 77baji

In a nod to arguably Cricket's most famous (and certainly the most exciting) rivalry, the Super 12 match between India and Pakistan in Dubai saw one team fall from grace after a stellar record in World Cups against their arch-rivals. At the same time, the other rose emphatically from the ashes to end a long-standing hoodoo.

The thin margin of victory is proof enough that Pakistan totally overpowered and outplayed their Indian counterparts on Sunday night. To justify the same, the numbers speak for themselves, and it's best left to them. And, to be honest, Australia's lopsided record against India in international World Cups, which dates back to 1992, is as pointless as the country's outstanding unbroken Test record at The Gabba, which came to a halt earlier this year.

The most important conclusion from the latest instalment of the legendary rivalry is that sports was and continues to be a colossal leveller. It's more than a cliché; yesterday night's result defied a big trend in the opposite direction. On the other hand, Cricket has so much to teach that it continues to do so at will.

But it wasn't simply the result that made this story stick; several subplots within the main plot served as further proof.

Perhaps none more so than Rohit Sharma's dismissal on the opening ball, with Shaheen Shah Afridi's magic devastating India's limited-overs vice-captain. A ripper of an inswinger left him bamboozled early in the innings for a player who toyed with the Pakistani attack the last time the two sides faced during the 2019 World Cup. If anything, it was a foreshadowing of what was to come, with KL Rahul succumbing to Afridi's deception and cunning.

That wasn't all; for a team whose catching and ground fielding has long been their Achilles' heel, Pakistan's players caught just about everything thrown at them. Except for an erroneous throw by Shaheen Afridi towards the end of the innings, Babar Azam's players enjoyed a near-flawless game, which speaks exceedingly well for a squad that has a history of faltering under pressure.

This isn't to argue that India surrendered to offer its opponents a stunning win. While India's performance lacked flow and polish, they will know that they were outclassed by a team that didn't put a foot wrong - a reality admitted by skipper Virat Kohli, who also remarked that his team isn't one to panic too quickly.

A contest saw a first in terms of the final result in the sport's international World Cups. However, in the cauldron of what was an electrifying Sunday evening, several life's general practicalities were once again proven. These considerations were always present, but it was a first for an India-Pakistan competition that emphasized them like no other.

What is the most important lesson of all? Cricket was and continues to be a great leveller.