The ICC Champions Trophy fil held at the Oval in London on Sunday is something that every Indian would like to forget. Here were the defenders of the last Champions Trophy playing the fil against Pakistan that it had beaten earlier by 123 runs. And except the only inexplicable loss to Sri Lanka, India had won all the matches to get to the fil. India also had the most formidable batting line-up of all countries participating in the ICC Champions Trophy. It had two batsmen with the highest number of runs scored in the Trophy. It had a captain like Virat Kohli who had always led from the front and had been ranked No. 1 batsman in ODI matches. And look what the team did! It won the toss, and for no plausible reason chose to field instead of batting. And having done so, the Indian bowlers were uble to restrict Pakistan to a total lower than 338. And then came the inexplicable and explosive debacle. India lost its three top batsmen for a paltry 26 runs to the same Pakistani bowler: Mohammad Amir. Thereafter, the remaining batsmen batted as though they were playing to lose. Their disinclition to fight was evident even in players like former captain MS Dhoni who made just four runs. That was what hurt the most. The only player who did put up a fight was Hardik Pandya. He made 76 runs and would have done much more had he not got run out. Can people be blamed if they talk about match-fixing when such unbelievable things happen to a top-ranking team?
A Fil to Forget