Pakistan's captain Misbah-ul Haq has said changes in conditions through the course of the day were responsible for India securing a ten-run victory in the third ODI in Delhi. Defeat for Pakistan, who won the series 2-1, came after their attack put on another quality display, restricting India to 167, but their batsmen failed to chase down the target.
Delhi had recorded another cold day, the minimum temperature dipping to 1.9 degrees late into the night, which made the run chase difficult for the visitors.
"The weather made all the difference. Survival became difficult as the fog descended," Misbah said. "The pitch, which looked like a batting track, changed its behaviour as the temperature dipped. I did not expect such moisture. So weather played a crucial role."
At the toss, Misbah had said Pakistan were used to playing in cold conditions because Lahore also has similar weather conditions at this time of the year. But the fog along with the cold made it more difficult for his batsmen to settle down during the chase.
"It was very cold. We played under such conditions during our domestic T20 league back home and when we were preparing for the India series, but [we've not experienced them] in international matches on the subcontinent," he said. "It was very difficult to bat on. It will be difficult for India and England in the coming series to play under such cold conditions.
"When we started the run chase, the Indian seamers got movement and swing, the spinners got the required turn and bounce. When they batted, only Mahendra Singh Dhoni could manage to score runs, when we batted it was opener Nasir Jamshed. Apart from the duo, no other batsman from both the sides could score runs."
Jamshed and Dhoni were the only batsmen with more than 100 runs in the series, making 241 and 203 respectively. While Dhoni's knock of 113 not out in Chennai was in vain, Jamshed's hundreds in the first two matches ensured Pakistan's victory and earned him the Man-of-the-Series award.
Pakistan's failure to capitalise on the start they got in Delhi, thereby missing out on a cleansweep, was a source of some frustration for them but Misbah credited India's effort. "We missed the chance to sweep the series," he said. "The Indian bowlers exploited the conditions well. Their fielding was great as they saved at least 30-35 runs. It was an exceptional bowling and fielding effort."