T20 World Cup: Pakistan didn’t play well in all three departments, says Babar Azam | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: In their T20 World Cup opening match in Dallas on Thursday, Pakistan lost to the USA in the Super Over. Captain Babar Azam later acknowledged that his team did not play at its best in all three areas of the game.
Pakistan had a difficult start, losing three wickets in the powerplay to finish at 30 for 3. The innings was then stabilized by a 72-run partnership off 48 balls between Babar Azam and Shadab Khan.In spite of their best efforts, the USA held Pakistan to 159/7 before matching the total and winning the Super Over to cause a significant upset.
Babar said that Pakistan was unsatisfactory with their batting towards the end of the match, having failed miserably in the Powerplay and bowling slowly in the middle overs. Then, in the middle overs, they failed to take wickets with spin because they did not carry out their early plans to bowl quickly.
“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.
After losing three wickets in the Powerplay, Babar helped his team recover by scoring 44 from 43 balls. He acknowledged that the game changed when Pakistan lost consecutive wickets.
“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.
Mohammad Amir conceded eighteen runs in the Super Over, which the USA won with a boundary off the last ball of the normal overs. Pakistan lost several unnecessary extras due to wides and a series of overthrows.
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 take on bitter rivals India on Sunday in New York. Babar also stated that even though they lost to the United States, they would not be changing their ball-based death-over tactics for that crucial encounter.
“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.
(With IANS inputs)

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