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We are unable to match team India's skill-level so far: Sarfraz Ahmed

Last Modified Tuesday, 25 September 2018 (12:20 IST)
Dubai: Yuzvendra Chahal credited the pacers for building pressure on the opposition while rued dropped catches and conceded to there being a mismatch in skill levels between the sides.
   

India's victory against in their second Super Four game in Dubai followed a 
tone similar to their previous two victories. While Pakistan bettered the 163 they scored the last time they faced India, in the group stage, they could not capitalise on the position of strength? they were 165/3 at one stage with both Ahmed and Shoaib Malik set at the crease? but stuttered towards the end of the innings.
 
In both games, picked up wickets with the new ball and had the opposition's top three
back in the pavilion for not many before the first drinks break. If it was in the first game, Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav did the damage on Sunday by dismissing
both Pakistani openers, an ICC report on Monday said.
 
Chahal, who finished with 2/46 from nine overs, credited the fast bowlers for building 
enough pressure in the first few overs, thereby helping the spinners to bowl according to 
their plans.
 
"The new-ball bowlers usually bowl seven to eight overs before we spinners come into the attack, and the pressure they build on the batsmen with the new ball? they concede not more than 20-25 runs ? helps us plan our line of attack as to where to bowl to maintain that pressure," Chahal explained after the match.
 
"Because if you don't give away boundaries in this format, the batsmen will inevitably 
be under pressure," he said.That was indeed the case. India conceded only four boundaries in the first 15 overs and, consequently, opening bat Fakhar Zaman, who had been reined in for an uncharacteristic 31 off 44, tried to sweep Yadav across the line and was dismissed leg before
wicket.
 
Chahal was introduced in the eighth over, inside the first Powerplay, and responded immediately by trapping Imam-ul-Haq in front of the wickets. He said he is now 
comfortable with bowling with field restrictions given how much he has bowled in the 
Powerplay in Twenty20 cricket.
 
"I have bowled quite a lot during the Powerplay in the IPL and T20s, so this isn't anything
new for me," he said. "I keep practising for it in the nets and vary my pace and lengths according to the wicket."
 
However, while the three Indian spinners were effective, returning four wickets 
between them, their Pakistani counterparts in Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan 
weren't quite so.
   
Khan was particularly expensive, giving away 54 runs in eight overs. Chahal attributed it to the pressure Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma? they added 210 runs for the first wicket and both of them scored centuries? had already created oon the opposition by the time spinners came on to bowl.
 
"Our batsmen put their bowlers under pressure right from the word go," Chahal 
said."At times, when batsmen are not under pressure, it becomes easy to face the 
bowlers. And on this wicket, you have got to vary your lines and lengths," he said.
   
"I think they have been doing that, but the situation here was slightly different in 
that we were 150 without loss, and that's why (Pakistan's) bowlers were also down 
mentally," Chahal said.
 
The Pakistani bowlers were not helped by the poor show in the field. Haq dropped 
Sharma off Shaheen Afridi early in the Indian innings and there were several lapses in 
the field, much like the way Pakistan had fielded in their last outing, against Afghanistan.
   
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed rued the missed opportunities and said Pakistan 
have to field better if they are to challenge India. "If we keep dropping catches, we won't win games," he said after the match.
 
"We've done hard work at fielding. So I'm not sure what's going wrong. I thought the 
pitch was difficult to bat on, that it would be hard for a new batsman to start here and 
for that reason we should have held on to our catches,"Ahmed said.
   
Conceding that Pakistan were "20-30 runs short" Ahmed lauded Sharma and Dhawan 
for their performance and talked about a mismatch in the skill level between the teams.
   
"They had set batsman to do the job. We're trying to get early wickets, we're talking 
with the bowlers, and when we don't get them, with batsmen like Rohit and Dhawan, it's 
hard to come back," he said.
 
"Their skill-level is high, ours is not quite there, but by the final, we'll get better. It's a 
do-or-die match for us in the next game (against Bangladesh), we'll do our best," Ahmed
added.(UNI)
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