Pakistan top-order batter Iftikhar Ahmed has indicated his side is yet to come to terms with the last-ball defeat to arch-rivals India in their ICC T20 World Cup Super-12 match at the packed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on 23 October, saying that's "not an easy defeat to digest".
Indian batting stalwart Virat Kohli lit up the Melbourne night sky, slamming an unbeaten 82 off just 52 balls and powering India to an incredible four-wicket victory over Pakistan in their first Group 2 match.
After the right-left fast-bowling duo of Hardik Pandya and Arshdeep Singh had picked three wickets to help restrict Pakistan to 159/8 in their 20 overs, Kohli and Pandya (40) shared a match-winning stand of 113 off 77 deliveries, lifting India from 31/4 to chasing 160 on the last ball to get their campaign off to a winning start.
Iftikhar Ahmed, who was one of the two half-century makers in the match, said ahead of the Super 12 match against Zimbabwe on Thursday, the defeat had left the side "disappointed".
"That's not an easy defeat to digest. They (players) were disappointed. But the way the captain (Babar Azam), the coach supported the whole squad, they were exceptional. And the message is clear that was the first game, now time to move forward. And we have some more games here," said Iftikhar during the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
Asked if his bowlers would be excited looking at the fast and bouncy Perth pitch, Iftikhar said, "There's bouncy tracks in Australia. We have to practise a lot for these bouncy fields. And he's (Haris Rauf) a main strike bowler, and we're expecting him to do much."
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)