Thursday, July 18, 2024

T20 World Cup: ‘Pakistan didn’t play well in all three departments’, says Babar after shock loss to USA


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Shillong, June 7: Following Pakistan’s shock loss to the co-hosts USA in the Super Over in their opening match of the T20 World Cup on Thursday, captain Babar Azam admitted that his team did not perform optimally in all three departments of the game.



Pakistan struggled early, losing three wickets to stand at 30 for 3 by the end of the powerplay. Babar Azam and Shadab Khan then stabilized the innings with a 72-run partnership off 48 balls. Despite their efforts the USA restricted Pakistan to 159/7, then matched the score and went on to win in the Super Over to create a major upset.


According to Babar, Pakistan were off the mark in the Powerplay, slow through the middle overs and disappointing at the death with the bat. Then with the ball they didn’t execute early plans with pace on, and failed to take wickets with spin through the middle overs.


“To be honest, whenever you lose a game, you are always upset. We did not play well in all three departments. 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, I think as a batting unit we need to step it up in the middle and in the end,” Babar said after the match.


Babar top-scored with 44 from 43 balls on the day, helping his side rebuild after a loss of three wickets in the Powerplay. He admitted that losing back-to-back wickets was the turning point of the game.


“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 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 condition is not an excuse…they played well, but I think we played badly,” he added.


The USA struck a boundary off the final ball of the regular overs to take the match to a Super Over, where Mohammad Amir leaked 18 runs, with wides and a string of overthrows seeing Pakistan concede a number of needless extras.


The Pakistan captain credited USA’s batters Aaron Jones and Harmeet Singh for their aggressive running between the wickets. “He (Amir) is an experienced bowler, he knows how to bowl and we are just trying to field the ball. But I think the US batsmen were a bit smart, when the ball was coming to the keeper he was running. So, I think that was a plus point for the batters in the Super Over.”


Pakistan will next play arch-rivals India in New York on Sunday. And Babar said that the death-over strategy with the ball for that crunch match will not change despite their loss against USA.


“The plan is simple: We try to hit yorkers and we are not changing any plans because the ball is reversing and our bowlers are very accurate, so our play will not be any different,” he concluded. (IANS)


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