Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed took the complete blame for his side exit from the ongoing Asia Cup after facing a 37-run defeat against Bangladesh on Wednesday. Apart from their series opener against Hong Kong, Pakistan struggled to win matches as they to India twice and managed a narrow win against Afghanistan before being defeated by Bangladesh in the virtual semi-final.
Talking about the team’s performance, Surfraz said, “Yes, our performance was very poor. Our batting wasn’t good, and we dropped a lot of catches. Our bowling was also patchy, and that’s the reason we are out of the tournament. I know I didn’t perform well. I needed to do much better, which I couldn’t. I take responsibility for the team’s performance.”
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Shoaib Malik and Imam-ul-Haq, who scored 225 and 211 runs respectively in the tournament, were Pakistan’s best performers, while other batsmen like Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Sarfraz, and Asif Ali struggled in all the games. In the bowling department, Junaid Khan picked up four wickets in the only match that he played but Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan, and Shadab Khan failed to live up to expectations.
With the 2019 World Cup hardly eight months away, Sarfaraz feels that the team management needs to show some trust in the players despite their dismal performance, he said, “We have to back them and take them along with us. We have to look at our bench too. We have a pool of players, and by the time the World Cup comes, we’ll have a good team. We are losing too many wickets early, and the middle order has had to deal with the new ball, which isn’t easy, and hitting quickly, in the end, isn’t easy on these pitches. We’ll have to get together and fix these issues.”
Sarfraz accepted that his team made mistakes but he doesn’t find the need to press the panic button. He said that after looking at the positions and there is no such player on the bench who can come in. He feels that apart from Shoiab Malik the team also lack in expreince and they’ll try to improve, by gaining some after this loss.