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Gary Kristen on Pakistan’s defeat to India: ‘It is not always about high scores’

Pakistan’s head coach, Gary Kirsten, addressed the media following Pakistan’s defeat to India in New York during the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. India clinched a narrow victory over Pakistan by six runs in a closely contested Group A clash at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

Reflecting on the match, Kirsten remarked, “I’ve only been here for a handful of days so I’m looking into the environment and what the issues are. I look at these players, I’ve watched them play for many years on TV, getting to know them, and they’re fantastic guys. They’re playing for their country, and there are a lot of very disappointed guys in the change room now.”

Emphasizing the importance of continuous improvement in international cricket, Kirsten added, “For me, the most important thing for every international player is that you keep growing and developing and understand the demands of international cricket. The game is changing every year, so if you’re not improving, you’re going to get found out some way.”

Addressing concerns about the pitch conditions in New York, which have been subject to criticism throughout the tournament, Kirsten observed, “Generally, the pitch kept lower. It was difficult to score for both batting sides. The outfield was quite slow as well, so it was never going to be a big total.”

Regarding the match’s dynamics, Kirsten commented, “I would say 140 would’ve been a very good total here. So India did not get that, and we had the game. We knew it was going to be a tight one. Sometimes it is fun seeing games like that. It is not always about huge scores.”

Opting to bowl first after winning the toss on a pitch with variable bounce, Pakistan’s bowlers, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, claimed three wickets each, limiting India to 119 runs. Rishabh Pant emerged as India’s top scorer with a brisk knock of 42.

In response, Mohammad Rizwan anchored Pakistan’s chase with a patient innings of 31 runs, but regular wickets hindered their progress. India’s fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah proved pivotal, scalping three crucial wickets to restrict Pakistan to 113-7 in their allotted 20 overs.

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