Pakistan’s campaign in the 2023 World Cup faced a big setback on Thursday when New Zealand registered a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Bengaluru. Babar Azam’s men relied heavily on a Sri Lankan win to keep their chances for a semi-final berth alive; it is not as if they can no longer qualify for the same, but the task for Pakistan in their final group match against England became all the more daunting with a win for the Kiwis. Babar and co. now need to beat England by at least 287 runs to secure a berth in the knock-out stages.
While the result isn’t impossible, it is certainly difficult to achieve and many former cricketers have already accepted an India-New Zealand semi-final next week. Former India opener Virender Sehwag is one of them, as he took a dig at Pakistan on Friday after their semi-final hopes took a hit. He put out a controversial ‘Pakistan Zindabhaag’ tweet, implying that the side will fly back home after its last group match against England.
The tweet triggered critical reactions from Pakistan and soon enough, fans from both sides of the border began to argue. In one such tweet, a Pakistan fan stated that their bowlers had troubled Sehwag on multiple occasions, to which an Indian replied that the former India opener has an average of nearly 91 against Pakistan.
Sehwag, then, quoted the tweet by the India fan and took a massive dig at Pakistan’s bowling attack, stating that the side’s bowling post Wasim Akram’s retirement wasn’t good enough for him.
“Nahi yaar, Wasim bhai ke retirement ke baad jaise yeh thhey , 200 ki avg honi chahiye tha inke saath. But jo bhi ho , tab bhi aur ab bhi Inke Mazzey lene mein maza aata hai . (No, man. After Wasim bhai’s retirement, the way their bowling attack was, I should have had an average of 200. Anyway, it was fun against them then, and even now),” Sehwag wrote.
Pakistan’s last group match against England takes place on Saturday, while Australia will also meet Bangladesh in their final group game in Pune. India, who have already qualified for the semis, will take on Netherlands in their last group stage game on Sunday.