As an athlete, you just can’t get away from the public criticism after a poor showing in a game which could have easily been in your kitty. For the Afghanistan captain, Gulbadin Naib, it is his turn to be in the midst of it all.
Afghanistan's bowling brilliance was in show after Pakistan’s top order had no answer to the spinning wizardry – except for Rashid Khan. Thus, Pakistan's plan of attacking the Afghan pacers was very much obvious. And after a brilliant performance with the ball early in the innings, which made it all up for their horrific showing with the bat, it was all down to the final over, with Pakistan needing six runs from as many deliveries.
In the scenario, Naib came into the action and his return has left the fans wondering whether he is worthy of the task he was given just ahead of the World Cup. Naib started his final over with an inviting full toss outside off which was followed by a missed run-out opportunity. Another full toss in the same region a delivery later prompted Imad Wasim to hit the pacer through cover for four. And that was it, the game was lost.
Former captain Asghar Afghan did everything in his power to limit the game through their reach, but an over from the Afghanistan captain was all Pakistan were waiting for in the end.
As for the fans, they were left fuming with the skipper’s return of 15 runs with the bat and 73 runs in 9.4 overs with the ball. This is how they are reacting:
Gulbadin's arrogance has single handedly cost Afghanistan their greatest ever ODI victory #PAKvAFG— LacaJet (@ThatGuyJSR) June 29, 2019
Is Gulbadin a very selfish captain or is that my imagination? Bowls all the time, reviews unnecessarily, opens the batting.. #AFGvsPAK— Michael Johnstone (@michaeljnrl) June 29, 2019
Gulbadin, such idiotic captaincy! Robbed us of all the fun #AFGvPAK— Aman Sharma (@AmanKayamHai_ET) June 29, 2019
Afghanistan sacking Afghan, their captain for 4 years, and replacing him with Gulbadin on the brink of the World Cup, was remarkable. That's the sadness of Afghanistan's World Cup campaign: politics has dragged the team down, and they're performing under themselves.— Tim (@timwig) June 29, 2019
Gulbadin u disrespected ur teams emotion.....— Abhishek Siwam (@Cityrid) June 29, 2019
Gulbadin has this typical arrogant personality, very selfish and wants to be the center of attention. I was in shock, couldn’t let the spinners take all the credit. Now I know why the others opposed him. #CWC19— Shakir Sadeqi (@ShakirSadeqi) June 29, 2019
Had it not been for Gulbadin’s very expensive over, Afghanistan came tantalisingly close to a win they deserved. They are absolutely incredible to have everyone shook till the end.— DoubleM07 (@DoubleM07_) June 29, 2019
That is just not an excuse, Being a novice, oh come on, you are playing world cup.Gulbadin was chosen controversially over Nabi & Asghar as skipper at last minute..Chosing himself to bowl 46th over was a disastrous & unacceptable decision. Being novice isnt an excuse 4 stupidity— Sreekanth Nair (@NairShreekanth) June 29, 2019
Gulbadin naib is responsible for defeat but its a game such thing happens it was his bad day & he said that he played hamid hassan overs bcoz he got injured otherwise he was not bowling today so it was Pakistan s luck today 2/2— Faru (@sameerasr3) June 29, 2019
Considering how the Afghans politicised this match and what happened in and out of the stadium today, I am genuinely concerned about Gulbadin's safety when he goes back to Afghanistan.#PakvAfg— Mohammad Saddozai (@MJKSaddozai) June 29, 2019
There r 2 sides to it:— Sagar Raja Malik🇮🇳 (@Maliksahebb) June 29, 2019
Is Gulbadin a captain who wants to face difficult situations for his team himself or is a selfish one who wants to do some heroics that's why giving himself the most chances while he is less deserving in the team?#PAKvAFG
Standard of umpiring has been a big concern in this world cup.— Rohit Agarwal (@rohit_0312) June 29, 2019
Afghanistan has won d the match long way. Imad was out but wasn't given by the umpires.
Gulbadin Naib is a brainless captain who lost d match bcz of his stupid captaincy.@ACBofficials #AFGvPAK #ICCCricketWorldCup2019
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / ICC