Mistakes that cost Pakistan another loss!
Hand over the Cricket ball to a bunch of school kids and you would have more expectations from them than from the bunch of Cricketers representing Pakistan side in England at the moment. Not only did they give away so many chances during the Nottingham ODI against the hosts, but they also acted as if they had already won the match, and had to stay out for 50 overs to get the result in their favor. Sadly, everything was wrong about the Men in Green who now go into the World Cup with more losses than wins in recent times. Let’s analyze the mistakes that cost Pakistan another ‘could have won’ encounters and hope they get to learn something from the experience.
Imam ul Haq – For worse than better!
The successor of Saeed Anwar, the master blaster of the century, Inzamam ul Haq’s nephew played an integral part in the match – that is both at the start and end of the match. Imam ul Haq wasted as many as 13 deliveries to score 3 runs on a batting paradise before he was sent back retired hurt by Mark Wood; at the end of the innings he tried to do a Saleem Malik by coming out to bat with an injured elbow and scored 3 more runs in 7 balls, diminishing any chance of Pakistan crossing the 350 runs barrier. It wasn’t as if there was no batsmen left in the lineup – both Junaid Khan and Mohammad Hasnain were fully fit and who knows might have edged the ball to the boundary, giving the team some welcome runs.
Babar Azam and The Selfish Century
When he came out to bat, Pakistan had started slow but when he left, the team was stable at 249 runs in the 40th over. However, after the initial display for his batting prowess, Babar Azam went slow in search of a century that killed the team’s pace. He forgot to take a double or hit a boundary a few overs before reaching the ton, and although he scored a century at nearly run-a-ball, it was his slow batting that affected the team big time. In the end, it was his go-slow approach that caused the bowlers to defend the score of 341 when it could easily have been 400.
Captain Sarfraz And The Loss Of Form
One look at the Pakistan Captain and you realize that he has become a bad version of Kamran Akmal, his predecessor in Cricket. He forgot to appeal at a crucial point in the match, dropped a catch that should have switched the match’s momentum has not hit a six since January 2018 in ODIs, comes out to bat as per his mood than as per the situation, and places fielders at places where even the batsmen know they might not hit the ball even if the wanted to. Add to that his escalating weight and you get a wicketkeeper-batsman who should be in a gym instead of the Cricket field.
Quality Spinners Do The Trick
The match was back in Pakistan’s favor when Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik came to bowl and took two quick wickets including that of the dangerous Jos Buttler. However, instead of continuing with the two who were bowling their overs quickly and keeping the scoring rate in check, Sarfraz Ahmed decided to go back to his quickies and the result is in front of us. Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 because of the spinners and it is that very part from the arsenal that’s missing this time around. The sooner the team management realizes that, the better.
Show Me A ‘Yorker’
The only time Pakistani bowlers bowled Yorker length deliveries, they got a wicket in the match. Sadly, these Yorkers weren’t enough as the Bowlers In Green were dispatched to all parts of the ground, mercilessly. It was like facing a bowling machine that was set to be hit for a boundary. It was sad to see bowlers from the land of Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar to be treated without any respect; the bowlers called for it as they all seemed like more interested in staying in the field than be at the receiving end of the English batsmen, all-rounders and even later order batsmen who could score runs at will.
Comedians in the field
And when they were fielding, they were acting as if they were scared of the ball, had decided not to touch anything that comes their way or simply to make a fool of themselves. At a time when players acrobatically save sixes at the boundary by jumping off the ropes, we made a mess of one crucial chance that came our way. In an era when two fielders run after the ball so that one can save and the other can throw, we run after the ball to skid in the field and cause a misfield that could get the other team an extra run, if they have stopped smiling. As for dropping catches, I still feel that it’s a way to confuse the opposition so that Pakistan can make a comeback in the World Cup and stun all with their professional fielding.