IN THIS WEEK’S ISSUE

Why is Pakistan looking for lost in the World Cup?

Arshad Khan

Babar Azam after his dismissal against Afghanistan/PIC : AFP

Pakistan were placed among the title contenders in the ODI World Cup held on the soil of the subcontinent. Their World Cup campaign also got off to a great start by defeating the Netherlands and Sri Lanka. But after that the team is spinning in the circle of loss.

Pakistan succumbed helplessly to hosts and arch-rivals India in a batting disaster. After that, Babar-Rizwan lost to the five-time world champion Australia in the run festival.

Pakistan ended their hat-trick of defeats in the ongoing ODI World Cup by losing to Afghanistan by 8 wickets in Chennai on Monday (October 23). Pakistan’s chances of making it to the semi-finals are also on the brink after losing to the Afghans.

Let’s see why Pakistan is in the cycle of failure in the World Cup-

Untouched bowling
Even before last month’s Asia Cup, Pakistan’s bowling line-up was regarded as a nightmare for the opposition. But Nasim Shah suffered a shoulder injury in the Super Four of that tournament. Because of that, Nasim was also dropped from the ODI World Cup.

Shaheen Shah Afridi has taken 10 wickets in five matches so far in the World Cup. In the first two matches against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, the left-arm speedster took just two wickets at the cost of 103 runs. He took two wickets against India and a fifer (five wickets) against Australia, but both failed in the team’s defeat.

Another pacer Haris Rauf played five matches and took eight wickets of the opponent but gave away 286 runs with a generous hand. Spinners are unable to take advantage of India’s slow wicket. Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz and Iftikhar Ahmed together took only six wickets, giving away 502 runs.

Questionable captaincy
Babar Azam is considered one of the greatest batsmen of all time in white ball cricket. Two fifties came from his bat in this year’s ODI World Cup. But his captaincy is in question.

Even afraid to arrange aggressive fielding, Babar has been criticized for this. Moreover, Babar is being criticized in the Pakistani press for giving preference to only his own people in party elections.

After the loss to Afghanistan, Babar said, “I don’t have much pressure on myself or batting when it comes to captaincy. I try to give my best in batting. In fielding I think about captaincy and when batting I only think about batting.”

Pakistani visitors are virtually banned in India. In such a country they had to play in front of a crowd of spectators. But Babar Azma found some kind of sympathy in the arch-rival country. The Pakistan team is under tight security. That’s why there was a little difficulty. The rest of the time except for games and practice, they have to be confined to the hotel.

Lack of planning
In the past one year, three different people have held the post of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman. This musical chair game of PCB chairmanship has also affected Pakistan’s World Cup plans.

Mickey Arthur was appointed as Team Director by PCB Chairman Najam Shetty. But was also working for Derbyshire county in England county cricket. The South African also criticized Zoom coach Akhya for working with Pakistan cricket while sitting on UK soil.

PCB officials have also been accused of restlessly overplaying pacers like Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah in all three formats of cricket. Instead of Naseem, Ihsanullah and Mohammad Hasnain did not perform well, and Hasan Ali had to be brought back.

Pakistan’s legendary pacer Wasim Akram said, “Unable to find a good coach in your own country, you resort to a foreigner working online. We have made frequent changes to our structure and our performance at the World Cup showed that.”

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