Former Pakistan player Salman Butt has urged the Pakistan batters to learn how to face quality short-pitched bowling. On Sunday, August 28, Pakistan batters struggled in their Asia Cup 2022 match against India at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Both Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, who are two of the key run-scorers in the Pakistan team, got out to short balls. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, on the other hand, drew first blood after getting rid of Babar Azam in the powerplay. Thereafter, Hardik Pandya removed Rizwan as well.
“See, Pakistan opted for Khushdil Shah, who can also bowl a bit, but his shortcomings on bouncy tracks are pretty evident. And Pakistan lost all of their first five wickets to bouncers. The same is the case from 2019. They faced issues on the tour of New Zealand in 2019, then they faced the same problem in Australia. Even in the 2019 World Cup, West Indies dismissed Pakistan batters through bouncers,” Butt was quoted as saying in an interview with GNN.
“The problem has been persisting since Mickey Arthur’s stint with the team. It seems Pakistan are still trying to find answers to facing short balls. India planned their attack carefully. When Rizwan got out, the fielder at third-man was standing fine and he didn’t have to move at all to take the catch. It was evident that Pakistan batters were taken aback by India’s tactics,” Salman Butt further mentioned.
He also said that if Pakistan wants to do well in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, they need to improve at playing short balls as well. However, Pakistan lost to India by five wickets on Sunday and will now play against Hong Kong in September in their last Group A match.
“The T20 World Cup is in Australia, where the grounds are big and pitches are fast. So it’s necessary for Pakistan batters to start their preparations of facing short balls,” Salman Butt concluded.