Indian pacer Bhuvneshawar Kumar has said that his teammate Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball in the 2017 Champions Trophy final against Pakistan was the deciding factor.
The 2017 Champions Trophy final was a historic encounter not only because it showcased the Mother of all Clashes – India vs Pakistan, but also because of how one-sided the contest ended up being in the end.
The Men in Blue had all the momentum heading into the mega-clash. They held a stellar record in ICC tournaments over Pakistan, and in a previous meeting in the tournament, the blues had picked up a fairly comfortable win. However, they totally lost the plot in the final.
After winning the toss, Kohli elected to bowl, a decision which ended up favoring the Men in Green. Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman notched a stunning 128-run partnership for the opening wicket.The latter, then, went on to hammer a ton. A brisk 57-run innings for Mohammad Hafeez saw Pakistan closing at 338/4 in 50 overs.
While defending the total, Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir absolutely shattered the Indian top order, getting rid of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and the all-important Virat Kohli himself. Hardik Pandya delivered a late fightback, amassing 76 runs in 43 balls, but it was too little too late. India were rattled out for 158, losing the contest by 180 runs. Pakistan famously lifted the 2017 Champions Trophy.
In an interaction with former India cricketer Deep Dasgupta on ESPNCricinfo video chat show Cricketbaazi, Bhuvneshwar recalled the match.
“In the 2017 Champions Trophy final, things changed after Jasprit Bumrah’s no-ball. It’s not like we’ve had a one-sided loss or we went down without a fight. We’ve always lost due to an unfortunate event or incident,” the bowler said.
Bhuvneshwar was referring to the moment when Fakhar was caught by Dhoni early on in the match, but replays showed Jasprit Bumrah had overstepped. Fakhar was given a lifeline and he made India pay in the match. Though Bhuvneshwar went on to add that the 2017 Champions Trophy final was a one-sided contest.
“Although, the 2017 Champions Trophy final was a one-sided loss where they outplayed us. And it’s difficult to pin-point the exact reason for the loss,” he added.
Speaking about India’s inability to win an ICC tournament in the recent years, Bhuvneshwar said:
“The last we won was the Champions Trophy in 2013. And since then, there have been only 3-4 ICC tournaments and we have made it to the semis or the finals about 2-3 times. In 2015 World Cup we lost to Australia in the semi-final. And in 2019 World Cup, it was bad luck. An early loss of three top order batsmen cost us the game. It rarely happens that in a match after dismissing the opposition for under 250, you are get bowled out,”
“In that entire World Cup, Rohit Sharma had scored five or six centuries, K.L. Rahul was in good form, Virat Kohli played as always and we had MS Dhoni as well in the team. But losing these knockout matches masks the fact that we actually played very well through those tournaments,” he added.