"We are grateful for the gift" - Pakistan head coach makes surprising statement following horror loss against India
On Monday (September 11), Pakistan faced a resounding 228-run defeat at the hands of India in the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 clash held at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. In a match that extended into the reserve day, the Men in Green were outplayed in every aspect of the game.
Choosing to bowl first, Pakistan conceded a formidable 356/2 on the scoreboard as Virat Kohli (122* off 94) and KL Rahul (111* off 106) delivered outstanding centuries for India, while Rohit Sharma (56 off 49) and Shubman Gill (58 off 52) also contributed with half-centuries.
In response, Pakistan's innings collapsed to a meager 128 in 32 overs. It was a lackluster batting display, with no player managing to surpass the 30-run mark. Fakhar Zaman led the scoring with 27.
Following the disheartening loss, Pakistan's head coach, Grant Bradburn, made a surprising statement, expressing gratitude towards the Indian team for their performance on Sunday and Monday.
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"My gut feeling is that we are grateful for the gift that has been this last two days," Bradburn told reporters in the post-match presser.
"We don't get to play some of the best players in the world very often. We haven't lost a game of cricket for the last three months, so it's a timely reminder that we need to turn up every day, put in our best on the park, and it's actually a gift in the last two days we haven't done that," he explained his statement.
Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav wove a web of devastation around the Pakistani batters. He dismissed Fakhar Zaman, Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, and Faheem Ashraf on his way to claiming his second five-wicket haul (5/25 in 8 overs) in ODI cricket.
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Despite the nature of their defeat, Bradburn remains confident in his team's ability to make a comeback in the upcoming Super-4 clash against Sri Lanka on Thursday (September 14).