Coach Grant Bradburn Addresses Pakistan’s World Cup Performance
As Pakistan and Bangladesh prepare for their highly anticipated encounter in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, Coach Grant Bradburn addressed questions regarding Pakistan’s performance and their change in status from pre-tournament favourites to a team striving to stay afloat in the competition.
Pakistan’s Favoritism Debated
When asked about Pakistan’s shift from being considered favourites at the start of the tournament to their current situation, Bradburn expressed his uncertainty regarding the “favourites” tag. He explained, “I’m not sure where you get ‘favourites’ from. There are 150 cricketers who are the best on the planet. In terms of ICC rankings, we know they are skewed because we don’t get to play India and a lot of the top nations, which haven’t been to Pakistan of late.”
Bradburn’s response highlighted the unique challenges Pakistan faces due to factors like limited exposure against top-tier teams. Despite a series of losses following their match against India, Bradburn emphasized that the defeat had not shattered the team’s confidence. He viewed the experience of playing at the Narendra Modi Stadium and facing a vociferous crowd as valuable. The challenging encounter against India provided a learning opportunity for Pakistan’s players.
Bangladesh’s Champions Trophy Aspiration
On the other side of the spectrum, Bangladesh’s skipper Shakib Al Hasan discussed their aspiration to secure a spot in the upcoming Champions Trophy. Currently positioned ninth among the ten teams in the World Cup standings, Bangladesh has set its sights on the top seven spots, which guarantee qualification for Pakistan 2025. Shakib revealed, “We have to win to be able to qualify for the Champions Trophy. It is an important target.”
Shakib, who had expressed his disappointment following a recent loss to the Netherlands, appeared more optimistic on the eve of the clash against Pakistan. He recognized the difficulty of forgetting the previous defeat but indicated the importance of focusing on the upcoming match. Shakib lightened the mood by suggesting that sometimes all one needs is “a little smile.”
As Pakistan and Bangladesh prepare to face each other, they carry distinct aspirations into the contest. Pakistan seeks to regain momentum and stay in contention for the World Cup, while Bangladesh aims to win and secure a coveted spot in the Champions Trophy, setting the stage for an intriguing battle on the cricket field.
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