England defeated India to bring their unbeaten run to an end on June 30 at Birmingham and not only broke hearts of Indian fans but crushed hopes of many Pakistani followers as well. England batted first and made 337/7 thanks to 111 from Jonny Bairstow and fifties from Jason Roy and Ben Stokes.
The Indian team replied with a century from Rohit Sharma and a half-century from Virat Kohli, but after making just 28 runs in first 10 overs, the team played catch up the other 40 overs and couldn’t get par with the required run rate. Pakistan cricket community analyzed India's World Cup defeat against England, which made the road to semifinal a bit tougher for their side. Pakistan now needs to beat Bangladesh and hope that Kiwi beat England also.
Former Test players Sikander Bakht and Basit Ali had already alerted the public that India might lose this match deliberately in order to keep Pakistan out of semis. "One shouldn't make accusations without evidence but as a former cricketer, I speak on the basis of what I see on the field. The way (MS) Dhoni batted in the last 10 overs says a lot. He hit one six in the final over and this is a man famous for his clean hitting. They don't want Pakistan in the semi-finals," Basit said.
MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav played out the last 10 overs making 70-odd runs, despite the equation being 100 plus in 60 balls. Only one six was hit in the Indian innings, that too by MS Dhoni, as Rohit Sharma hit his first century which didn’t include any sixes.
Former cricketer Rashid Latif also felt India did not try enough and said, "What can one say. Everyone saw the match. We can only talk on the basis of the match we saw. And I feel India did not play its best game." Even Sikandar Bakht didn’t mince his words and said, "The way India batted there was no serious effort to win the match and that says it all."
A former Test player turned analyst who didn't want to be named noted the problem started when England lost to Sri Lanka. "Until then everything was smooth. The bottom line is that the broadcasters and sponsors have millions of dollars invested in the tournament and how can they imagine a semi-final without England and India the two top teams in the world. There is a lot more at stake in the World Cup than just cricket," he added.