‘I think we are lagging a little bit as a fielding unit
Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, defended his team’s batting approach in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup match against Afghanistan, despite suffering a defeat. He attributed the loss to poor execution with the ball and in the field.
Pakistan managed to post 282/7 against Afghanistan, setting what Babar considered their target. Babar himself top-scored with 74 runs, and the middle order laid a solid foundation. However, during Afghanistan’s chase, Pakistan’s bowlers and fielders struggled to maintain control.
Even though Pakistan had a strong start, removing Afghanistan‘s openers, the momentum eventually favored Afghanistan, and they chased down the target with an over to spare.
Babar emphasized the importance of good bowling and fielding and noted that the spinners couldn’t apply enough pressure during the middle overs. He highlighted that consistency in bowling and fielding was lacking, and this cost them dearly.
“You have to bowl well and field well. In the middle overs, the spinners didn’t bowl as they should have. They didn’t put pressure on them. When you bowl well, and you bowl for 3-4 overs, the pressure comes on the other team.
“I congratulate their team for the way they played. They played outstandingly.”
Pakistan’s spinners struggled to contain the flow of runs, with Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, and Iftikhar Ahmed all going wicketless. Babar expressed the team’s missing Naseem Shah’s impact and their need to improve in both batting and fielding.
Babar Azam talks about fielding
The captain also criticized the team’s fielding efforts, citing the lack of a proactive attitude and extra effort in the field. He acknowledged that the team must work on their fielding and fitness.
“In fielding, whenever you do fielding, it is only with 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, as a fielder you have to be proactive so I think we are lagging a little bit as a fielding unit.”
The loss left Pakistan in need of a strong finish in the tournament to secure a spot in the knockout stages. Babar expressed determination to learn from this loss, adapt their strategies, and create a positive atmosphere within the team.
Pakistan faces a challenging match against South Africa, and Babar hopes to turn things around quickly.
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