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“To be honest, whenever you lose a game, you are always upset” – Babar Azam
By SMCS - Jun 7, 2024 8:13 am
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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam opened up on his team’s performance in all three facets of the game following the shock reversal to the USA in Dallas. They were finalists two years ago in the last edition of the T20 World Cup. Pakistan were heavy favourites in Group A ahead of the mega clash against India but failed to do well.

Pakistan team
Pakistan team

Both Mohamamd Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman hit sixes to get off the mark but got out quickly thereafter. From a PowerPlay score of 30/3, Babar and Shadab Khan managed to add 63 runs in the next six overs. However, just as they were looking to go with the momentum, Pakistan lost the wickets of Shadab and Azam Khan off successive deliveries in the 13th over off Nosthush Kenjige. And once Babar fell a couple of overs later, Pakistan could manage 159 on a pitch that was beginning to settle down.

“To be honest, whenever you lose a game, you are always upset. We did not play good in all three departments,” Babar Azam said after the defeat. “For six overs, I think we did not capitalise properly, but later on, after the 10th over we got momentum, but again we lost too many wickets and then your momentum is gone. So yeah… I think as a batting unit we need to step it up in the middle and in the end.”

“The first six overs, the ball was holding and was swinging. But later on, I didn’t feel it was a different wicket. It settled down a bit. Because of the early start – the matches are starting at 10.30 am – the fast bowlers will obviously get a little help. There was some juice in the pitch early morning. So they utilised that and executed their plan. It was difficult in the beginning, but we covered it. I think when we lost the wickets back-to-back, that was the turning point. But as a professional, you have to step up against such a team in the batting… in the middle order. This [contitions] is not an excuse…they played well, [but] I think we played badly,” he further added.

Pakistan
Pakistan team

However, Pakistan’s bowling unit couldn’t do much as in the absence of the injured Imad Wasim, Shadab and Iftikhar Ahmed had to cover up the fifth bowler’s role as a pair. Between them, they gave away 37 runs in four overs and couldn’t take any wickets also. And, then USA forced a dramatic tie and later on, won the Super Over as well.

“Even in the second innings, I think we also got help [from the wicket], but we were not up to the mark in terms of our bowling areas. We lacked in that in the first ten overs. We came back after that but they had already taken the momentum. But given the bowlers we have, we should have defended that total. On this pitch, I think it was a defendable total for our bowling. We are better than that in the bowling. We did not take wickets in the first six overs. In the middle overs, if your spinner is not taking wickets, then the pressure is on you. After ten overs, we did come back but I think the way they finished game in the Super Over, the credit goes to the US team,” Babar added.

“See, whenever you come to any tournament, you do the best preparation always,” Babar Azam concluded. “You can say it’s a kind of mindset. When you come up against a team like this, you relax a little. If you don’t execute your plan against any team, then whatever team it is, they will make you pay. So I believe that our execution was not up to the mark. We were doing well in the preparation but in the match, we did not execute our plans as a team.”