But Pakistan batsman Hafeez says his teammates vowed to stick together despite the avalanche of criticism and they reaped the rewards in memorable fashion on Sunday.
This was Pakistan's largest margin of victory, by runs, in 129 ODIs against India, surpassing their 159-run success at Delhi in 2005.
Virat Kohli congratulated this remarkable turnaround by Pakistan in the tournament.
Pakistan's win over India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy has helped them jump two spots in the ICC ODI rankings.
Bottom-ranked Pakistan produced a breathtaking display at London's Oval on Sunday in the climax of a tournament featuring the world's top eight one-day global nations.
There was no way back for India, who collapsed to 158 all out with almost 20 overs of the match as they suffered their heaviest defeat by runs in 129 ODIs against Pakistan.
Amir bowled brilliantly today but all my bowlers bowled really well.
The former captains were of the view that success in the Champions Trophy widely speaks about the rise of cricket in Pakistan despite the fact that foreign teams are not visiting the country for nearly one decade.
"We just had to keep believing. they kept on believing, trusting their roles (and) trusting the game-plan that "Saffy" (Sarfraz) and I had set up", said Arthur for whom this was a first major tournament success after spells in charge of both his native South Africa and Australia. While address the post match press conference Virat Kohli said: "I have a smile on my face because I am very proud of the boys the way they played throughout the tournament".
"The way they turned things around for themselves speaks volumes of the talent that they have in their side".
But Pakistan collapse to 162 for seven before an unbroken stand of 75 between skipper Sarfraz (61 not out) and Mohammad Amir (28 not out) sees them win what is a virtual quarter-final. Amir, who was 18, was banned from cricket for five years and also served three months of a six-month prison sentence in a young offenders' institute. Alongside a photo of the hockey team, the paper featured an image of Kidambi Srikanth, who won the Indonesia Superseries Premier badminton tournament earlier in the day.
Pakistan then prove it's possible to bat on a used pitch, with Fakhar making his second fifty in as many matches, as they cruise to victory with 77 balls to spare.