Analysing Pakistan’s Dismal Run at the World Cup
The pride and pressure of representing one’s nation on the cricket pitch is immense. The Pakistan cricket team, under the leadership of Babar Azam, is experiencing this weight firsthand. After successive losses to cricketing giants such as India and Australia, the former 1992 World Cup victors faced yet another defeat at the hands of Afghanistan. The match, held in Chennai, witnessed a vibrant display of skill from the Afghan batters and bowlers, who managed to chase down Pakistan’s 283-run target with relative ease.
The Ramifications of Repeated Losses
These consecutive defeats have jeopardised Pakistan’s standing in the World Cup. Voices from the cricketing past of the nation have risen in unison to express their discontent. Legendary players like Wasim Akram, Ramiz Raja, and Moin Khan, among others, have pinpointed Babar Azam as the primary factor behind Pakistan’s underwhelming performance.
In what could be perceived as an attempt to extend an olive branch, Babar chose to gift his bat to Afghanistan’s opener, Rahmanullah Gurbaz. However, this act was met with further criticism, amplifying the calls for a change in captaincy.
Aaqib’s Stand on Leadership
Aaqib Javed, a former fast bowler for Pakistan and currently the Director and head coach of PSL team Lahore Qalandars, voiced his opinion candidly. He proposed Shaheen Shah Afridi, a young and promising talent, as a potential successor to Babar in the white ball format. While praising Shaheen’s potential, he also expressed his disappointment with other team members for their performance against Afghanistan, with the exception of Haris Rauf.
A Steep Path Ahead
For Pakistan to salvage their World Cup campaign, they must clinch victories in their upcoming matches against formidable opponents such as England, New Zealand, and Bangladesh.
Wasim Akram, a legend in his own right, lamented the team’s lacklustre fielding and bowling. He also raised concerns over the fitness regimen of the players, suggesting a lack of physical preparedness.
Misbah ul Haq, another esteemed figure in Pakistan cricket, critiqued Babar’s leadership decisions, particularly in relation to field placements and bowling strategies.
The Ripple Effect of Babar’s Batting
Abdul Razzaq, a former all-rounder, observed a pattern in Babar’s batting style that, according to him, influences the batting rhythm of his teammates. He believes that Babar’s measured approach to batting could potentially restrict other players from playing their natural game, impacting the team’s overall strike rate.