ADELAIDE: Apart from batting debacle, dropping a couple of vital catches could be said as main cause of Pakistan’s ouster from ICC Cricket World Cup quarter-final against Australia on Friday.
However above all – irresponsible batting, poor shot selection and lack of determination and application among the batsmen halted Pakistan team’s progress in the semi-final.
Despite Misbah-ul-Haq team’s disappointing start with loses to India and the West Indies, Pakistan pace quartet spearheaded by Wahab Riaz with Muhammad Irfan, Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali put them on the track with fearsome and outstanding bowling.
Losing lanky Irfan on the eve of the knockout match through hip injury was a huge loss. But Wahab Riaz and company remarkably compensated for team’s failures, writes
A lot of questions were raised on drop catches first by Rahat Ali and then by Sohail was the talk of the world.
But had our batsmen build the total of 250-260 could have made match.
However Pakistan inconsistent batting and by young guns led by Ahmed Shahzad, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal and Sohaib Maqsood was the main reason of team’s trouble.
There was massive criticism on Misbah-ul-Haq’s batting style, technique and lack of strike rotation.
But he in the end emerged as the Pakistan batting’s main stay.
Misbah’s only mistake in the quarter-final was when he was tempted by part-time spinner by Glenn Maxwell.
Pakistan’s fielding was poor, but their biggest problem was their batting. Eight batsmen reached double figures but nobody scored a fifty.
Misbah started slowly and looked set to perform yet another rescue mission, and together with Haris frustrated the Australians. Ultimately, though, it was Pakistan who was frustrated. Trying to lift the run rate, Misbah fell for 34 off 59 deliveries, and was followed soon after by a flat-footed Haris, who edged behind off Mitchell Johnson for 41 off 57.
Misbah batted and batted throughout the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand till his departure from the One-Day International Arena in a ceremonious fashion.
After not considered in the first four games, Sarfraz Ahmed’s inclusion came in vital match against formidable South African at Eden Park in Auckland.
Sarfraz batted like a lion and his awesome knock of 49 and his record-equalling half a dozen catches behind the stumps as Pakistan conquered the invincible Protease and gave a new lease of life to the team.
Sarfraz’s none consideration as a make-shift opener in final XI after Nasir Jamshed consistent failure by the team management was the main question in the mind of former Pakistan captains, experts and cricket analyst.
It was Sarfraz, who revived Pakistan’s hope for a place in the quarter-finals was again proved team’s saviour when his compact century and responsible batting by him.
Though Ahmed Shahzad had performed in all three brands of cricket. But inconsistent batting by over-rated Haris Sohail Sohaib Maqsood and Umar Akmal was gloomy.
Commenting on Pakistan’s chronic batting problems Misbah-ul-Haq believed that duo of Umar , Sohaib and Haris must show the responsibility.
“They must the raise the bar to the international level and perform for the country,” he said.
He said they are making repeated mistakes but learning from it to improve their games.
“They must learn to convert their innings into big knocks in their interest of the game,” Misbah said.
Msibah maintained they are the best talent available in the country. But they cannot survive for much longer.
World class all-rounder Shahid Afridi failed to show his magic with the bat and ball. Afridi, who got 21 wickets in 2011 World Cup ended with mere two wickets in seven matches was great disappointment for his large band of supporters.
Pakistani batsmen could score just one century and seven half centuries in the event dominated by the batsmen of 14 participating teams. They were unable to raise and match the standard teams.
World class off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, paceman Junaid Khan and Muhammad Hafeez were lost just before the World Cup. It was mainly Pakistan batting which remained the cause of concern throughout the World Cup till departure.