Babar Azam-led Pakistan got knocked out of the tournament without qualifying for the Semi-finals. The Pakistan team failed to deliver proportionate to the potential and their planning backfired on various fronts. Now that the campaign is over for them there will be serious discussions on the future roadmap of Pakistan cricket.
Let’s put some light on 3 reasons which played a huge role in their failure:
Lack of Purpose
What stood out in their campaign was the lack of purpose and intent. Their approach to the game appeared to be apprehensive. The fearless attitude in any unit comes from the top but this was missing in Pakistan’s case as Babar Azam, being the captain, could not alleviate the fear of failure in his side.
The batting unit could not express itself, especially the top order, which held the team back. The openers consistently failed throughout the tournament which prevented Pakistan from getting the momentum early in the innings. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are the most important batters for this side but at no point did it look like they were showing some urgency. This lack of adventure cost them heavily in the end.
Scarcity of Depth
An injury forced Naseem Shah, a vital member of the bowling unit, to leave the team. The lack of depth caused by this injury seriously hurt Pakistan’s chances. In order to replace Naseem Shah, they had to add Hassan Ali to the team. Because of his form, Ali was on the outside looking in, but Shah’s injury opened the door for him to return.
Another glaring issue of depth was evident in the spin attack. The leg-spinner Shadab Khan has had a dismal World Cup performance. The leggie struggled to take wickets, finally ending up with only 2 wickets. To compensate for his lack of form another leg-spinner, Usama Mir, was introduced in the lineup. Mir’s inexperience came to the fore as he also could not create any impact with his bowling.
When Your Strength Becomes Your Weakness
Pakistan has always been associated with a lethal bowling unit. But the same strength became the biggest weakness for them in this tournament. Pakistan’s bowling attack was completely toothless throughout the tournament. Shaheen Shah Afridi’s form with the new ball was pathetic. His biggest ‘USP’ is to give early breakthroughs but the left-arm pacer could not execute that in this tournament. Another bowler who had a miserable run in this tournament is Haris Rauf. In the end, he was the ODI World Cup’s most costly bowler. Pakistan’s inability to succeed can probably be attributed primarily to their bowling.
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