Pakistan captain Babar Azam highlighted the team’s struggles after a shocking defeat against Afghanistan in a crucial World Cup 2023 game on Monday, October 23. Pakistan failed to defend 282 runs against their neighbours in Chennai, leading to their third consecutive defeat in the tournament.
Afghanistan pulled off another major upset to stun the cricket world as they chased a tough total at Chepauk’s slow wicket. Pakistan bowlers’ poor outings continued as they managed to pick only two wickets and were further stretched down due to another below-average fielding.
Pakistan seemed in control when they put 280-plus targets at Chepauk’s bowling-friendly surface and had never suffered a World Cup defeat while defending such a total. But bowlers were clearly not up to the mark and never looked threatening the opponent’s chase. Babar slammed his bowlers for not picking wickets in the middle overs after achieving a desirable total while batting.
“Yes, the defeat has hurt us a lot,” Babar said after a loss against Afghanistan. “We wanted to put up a total of around 280-290. After we achieved that, we were not up to the mark with our bowling and fielding. The spinners didn’t bowl the way we wanted them to in the middle overs.”
The world no.1 batter produced a brilliant fifty for himself but he struggled for aggressive approach again. He highlighted the team’s poor fielding efforts in the recent game and asked his teammates to be proactive as a fielder.
“We are not able to click in all departments at the same time. When we do well in bowling, we don’t do well in batting. When we do well in batting, we don’t do as well in fielding. Fielding is all about attitude. And I don’t see any attitude from the team. You need to put in extra effort and be fit. You should focus on the ball, not on other thoughts and when the ball comes to you, you have to be proactive as a fielder. I think we are lacking that a little bit as a fielding unit,” Babar added.
With four points from five games, Pakistan are placed fifth in the points table and face a tough challenge to finish in the top four to secure a semifinal berth. They face a high-flying South African side in their next game at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium on October 27.