Advice given to the Pakistan team by the country's Prime Minister wasn't heeded, netizens are pointing out, as they continue to dissect India's massive win at the World Cup over their arch-rivals.
Ahead of the match, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had gone on an advice spree, donning his World Cup-winning captain's hat and writing the following:
First, he remarked on how the importance of mental strength had increased since the time he was playing:
When I started my cricketing career I assumed success was 70% talent & 30% mind. By the time I finished playing cricket I felt it was 50-50 ratio. But now I tend to agree with my friend Gavaskar it's 60% mental strength & 40 % talent. Today role of mind will be more than 60% 1/5— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 16, 2019
He elaborated on how the Pakistan captain Sarfaraz would have to be at his daring best:
2/5 Today, given the intensity of the match, both teams will come under great mental pressure and the power of the mind will decide the outcome of the match today. In Sarfaraz we are fortunate to have a bold captain & today he will have to be at his daring best.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 16, 2019
In specific advice to Sarfaraz, Imran Khan said that all fear of losing should be banished from the Pak captain's mind:
3/5 All fears of losing should be banished from the mind as the mind can only process one thought at a time. Fear of losing leads to a negative & defensive strategy & crucially mistakes by opponents are not pounced upon. So here are my suggestions for Sarfaraz & Pakistan team:— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 16, 2019
He proceeded to give advice, highlighting that full-timers (not Raillu Kattas) should be picked and that Pakistan must bat first unless there is specific reason to not.
4/5 1. In order ro have a winning offensive strategy Sarfaraz must go in with specialist batsmen and bowlers because "Raillu Kattas" rarely perform under pressure - especially the intense kind that will be generated today. 2. Unless pitch is damp, Sarfaraz must win the toss & bat— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 16, 2019
He proceeded to repeat his point about not being afraid of losing:
5/5 3. Finally, even though India may be the favourites, banish all fear of losing. Just give your best and fight till the last ball. Then accept whatever the result like true sportsmen. The nation's prayers are with all of you. Good Luck.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 16, 2019
However, people have pointed out that Imran Khan's advice wasn't strictly adhered to, and they also challenged the Pak PM to resign if the advice doesn't lead to a win. Here's some of the responses he got:
If fully acting on your advice we fail to win, will you resign ?— Matiullah Jan (@Matiullahjan919) June 16, 2019
Some told Imran Khan to adhere by his own advice:
Same advice is for you Khan Sahib . In order to perform better especially regarding economy of Pakistan. You need to hire a better and sincere team instead of Railo Kattas because they cant perform under pressure .— Dr Ayesha (@DrAyeshaSpeaks) June 16, 2019
Some hit out at Sarfaraz for doing exactly the opposite - winning the toss and electing to bowl.
Lesson learnt: Never ignore the legend. He’s called a legend for a reason dear Sarfraz !!— Engr. Shahid Ashraf 🇵🇰 (@ShahidAsh7) June 16, 2019
He meant Railuu Kattas - only the non performers - not all the team players. That’s why he is saying to go for specialist batsmen and bowlers. His advice to bat first if win tosss, proved good for India. The question is how Railuu Kattas are in national team?— Mohsin Meer مُحسِن میر (@MohsinMeer10) June 16, 2019
The viral meme from a previous Pakistan loss at the World Cup also came up:
In reply to PM #imranKhan sarfaraz be like pic.twitter.com/SzgA1gbRO5— Kashif Shah (@Kashif5788) June 16, 2019
Sarfaraz was really not getting a lot of love from Pakistan fans:
He's not a great batsman, nor a great keeper— Richard Harris (@HarrisRichard77) June 16, 2019
The viral image of Sarfaraz yawning during the match has also been used:
His yawning in such an important match a frustrating & painful scene.— Mohsin Meer مُحسِن میر (@MohsinMeer10) June 16, 2019
While some continued to blame Sarfaraz...
Mr Prime Minister. Sarfaraz didnt listen to you and now they are in a situation, rightly so. Mighty insight ignored. pic.twitter.com/D4rcVmSfBt— Ejaz Mirza (@EjazMirza) June 16, 2019
Others also hit out at Imran Khan:
He is the captain now not you Sir , he will do what he feels right. How many times you listened to the advice of your seniors when you were captain?— Essa J. Allawala (@essajan79) June 16, 2019
Moreover, I couldn't really understand why did he use Twitter for his advice. Is it the right platform, knowing the fact that players don't use social media before the match but people do. Was it for captain or the people. He is PM, should've made a call without making it public.— Ahmad Fuad (@iamahmadfuad) June 16, 2019
At the Old Trafford cricket stadium in Manchester, in a rain-interrupted match, India batted first and scored 336/5 in 50 overs. Pakistan, meanwhile, stumbled and stuttered, losing wickets at regular intervals apart from the Zaman-Azam partnership and ultimately lost by the D/L method by 89 runs, with their score at 212/6 in 40 overs.
Next up for India are Afghanistan on June 22.