Pakistan did not just beat India on Sunday night, they completely outplayed the side most favoured to win the entire tournament.
By virtue of their superb performance, they now become the side to beat in the tournament and have definitely surged up on the favourites charts.
They’ve proven that the hype surrounding their Big 3 of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi was real.
The way they outplayed India in all facets of the game without breaking a sweat demonstrates the talent they boast. New Zealand should be very, very worried.
New Zealand and Pakistan did not have any sort of rivalry and enjoyed extremely cordial relations until recently when they pulled out of a tour of Pakistan citing ‘security concerns’ at the last minute, inviting the wrath of action-hungry Pakistan fans.
It means that this becomes a politically charged fixture, second in anticipation to perhaps only the Pakistan-India match.
Apart from the political flavour, it will be the Black Caps’ first game of the tournament. They hadn’t had preparatory pre-World Cup series either and only got to play a pair of warm-ups, while their players were scattered all over, some playing the IPL and some at home.
Compounding their misery is the fact that the two warm-ups they played, they lost both, making this the worst time to face a side such as Pakistan that has its tail up.