Thursday, June 13, 2019

This loss to Australia hurt more than the one to the West Indies

It was poor. Really really poor from Pakistan.

This loss hurt more than the loss to the West Indies, who totally outplayed Pakistan. Against Australia, Pakistan just gave it way. Multiple times.

Overcast conditions. Green top. Any international captain would have opted to bowl first. But why doesn't Pakistan's team management understand that they can't chase? Why don't they know that their only winning formula is to put runs on the board and defend.

Maybe they were scared that their batsmen would skittle out on a green top. Maybe they felt their pacers would blow Australia away.

I can live with this decision however. The way Mohammed Aamir bowled, it was a bowl first wicket.

Poor Shaheen is too inexperienced and he was playing after a long gap. Perhaps they should have given the new ball to Wahab.

The fielding didn't help. The catching let Pakistan down.

Had those two aspects of the game been perfect, Pakistan's decision to bowl first would have been justified.

But it was poor. Dropped chances, misfields, overthrows. It all let Pakistan down.

Nevertheless, restricting Australia to 307 was a tremendous comeback.

Aamir bowled his heart out. Wahab is on another level this World Cup. Shaheen redeemed himself in later spells.

307 was chaseable. Or was it? With Pakistan, no score seems chaseable really.

The chase did not start ideally. Fakhar left early. But Imam and Babar made it look really easy.

After Babar left to a shot he should not have played, Hafeez took over and made it look even easier.

136-2 in 25 overs. An 80 run partnership with Imam and Hafeez looking settled.

It should have been done.

But then, as it happens so often, Pakistan were reduced to 160-6 in no time!

Imam, like Babar, should have left the ball alone.

Hafeez should have smashed the full toss out of the park.

Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali should have been more cautious.

Yet they weren't.

Why, why do they keep doing this to us?

It was so easy!

Despite all this, Sarfraz, Hasan Ali, and Wahab Riaz fought like tigers. They got Pakistan to within 50 runs of the target at run a ball.

What could have been will always remain just that.

We didn't really expect Pakistan to beat Australia, but that was the case against England too. Had Pakistan been destroyed the way they were against West Indies, it would not have hurt so much.

They got so close, they made a match out of it, and they were in total control.

How could they let it slip?

This now leaves Pakistan with only 3 points from its 4 matches. With 5 more to go, they can't afford to lose even one. Mathematically, they can still go through if they win 4 out of the last 5, but that would require other results going Pakistan's way.

Better to do it yourself then rely on other teams. Who knows whose side fortune is on. Every year can't be 1992.

I let go of the West Indies loss very quickly, and was quietly confident against England.

But this one, against Australia, I am finding difficult to let go. I hope the players the players are not in the same boat. They need to shrug this off quickly and be geared up for the match of their lives.

Against India on Sunday!

For Sarfraz and Co., it is time to bring out the cornered tigers ... Come on Pakistan!

Make your pitch on this post...

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2 Pitched:

  1. Dotball said...

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