Gary Kirsten feels Pakistan couldn’t handle pressure

NEW YORK   -   Gary Kirsten, not one to mince words, said Pakistan’s inability to handle pressure cost them the game against India on Sunday morning. Pakistan had India on the mat for the better part of the rain-affected contest at the Nassau Country International stadium but were left wanting for over five overs in the backend of a 120-run chase.In the end, India’s ability to remain calm put them on top of the group, all but assuring them a spot in the super eights, while Pakistan are all but out of the running in the T20 World Cup. “These guys are all international players and they’re aware that when they’re not performing at their best, there’s going to be pressure put on them. That’s understandable, but a lot of these guys have played a lot of T20 cricket around the world over many, many years and it’sreally up to them to decide how they’regoing to take their games forward,” said the coach in the post-match press conference. “I would have said 140 would have been a really good score on that pitch. So, India didn’t get that so I thought we had the game. We knew it was going to be tight, but sometimes it’s fun seeing games like that as well. It’s not always about sixes and hitting, getting 230s and 240s. You can have an entertaining game in a 120 chase. So, I don’t think it’s bad for the game. “But, we played well for 35 overs on the day, and failed to do the same in the last five overs,” he added. With 40 runs needed of the last 36 balls and seven wickets in hand, there was no reason why Pakistan’s batters couldn’t have dinked the ball about and crossed the line. Yet, an in-form Mohammad Rizwanchose to take on Jasprit Bumrah in the first ball of his second spell. That ended in Rizwan playing acrossthe line and Bumrah smacking the stumps. “We kept it at a run a ball, and then we lost wickets and then we stopped scoring ones and then we werelooking for boundaries and once you’ve got to that point it was always going to be hard,” explained theformer India coach. “On a pitch like that, it is really, really important to be able to rotate the strike. You have to be able to use120 balls well. As I said, we did for 15 overs and then we lost the plot. As a batting unit, you can’t lose asmany wickets as we are losing. Players have got to take responsibility when that opportunity comes.”

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