Kolkata, Nov 12
O verall inconsistency and gaps in the batting and bowling unit were the reasons for the Pakistan team's below-par performance in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
verall inconsistency and gaps in the batting and bowling unit were the reasons for the Pakistan team's below-par performance in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Pakistan lost four matches in a row starting with a debacle against archrivals India. Though they fought their way back into semifinal contention, they ended their campaign with a 93-run defeat to England to eventually finish fifth in the competition.
After the defeat to England in which Pakistan conceded 337/9 in 50 overs with two of their bowlers giving away 70+ runs in their 10 overs. In reply, their batters could manage only 244 before being all out in 43.3 overs with only Agha Salman scoring a half-century.
Pakistan Director of Cricket Mickey Arthur gave an open and blunt assessment of why his team failed to reach the semifinals of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
"I don't think we played our best game here. I think I really believe the best four teams in the competition are now playing in the semifinal. I think what we've seen is that, and it's something that we've continually tried to push is that we're behind the eight ball. Our game needs to go to another level," said Arthur in the post-match press conference here on Saturday night.
Further analysing the team, Arthur listed various improvements that needed to be made in the team if it is to be competitive in future.
"Our bowling attack, we get Naseem Shah, I think we miss Naseem Shah. But if you get Naseem Shah, our bowling attack's good. Batting-wise, we have to become a 330-350 team," said Arthur.
"The teams that are doing that and doing that consistently are the teams that are in the semifinal. And I don't think we've done that consistently enough. We do that when Fakhar Zaman comes off and we can't just be relying on one or two players," he said.
He said they know where they have to go from here and the planning for that has already started.
“We know exactly where we need to go to. We need to know what we need to do. Planning's already started.
“But ultimately, we can only control what we can. What we can control is how we prepare our players. What we control is the messaging that we give to our players. We can't control anything else. What will be, will be in that regard. But we've got to stay consistent," he added.
The South African also gave his full support to captain Babar Azam despite calls for his sacking following the team's dismal performance.
Arthur said a settled environment is crucial for future success and Pakistan need to maintain the status quo as far as captaincy is concerned.
"We were a real tight-knit unit. I get behind Babar, and Babar is very close to me. He's a young guy that needs to be taken on the journey. He needs to be shown the ropes. He's still learning all the time.
"We know he's a very, very fine batsman. He learns every day with his captaincy. He's growing and we have to allow him the time to grow. And in order to do that, you make mistakes.
“It's not a crime to make mistakes as long as you learn from those mistakes, and as a group, we've made a lot of mistakes this World Cup, but if this group grows and learns from it, we've got the core of a very, very good side,” he added.
Men's ODI WC: Coach Arthur blames inconsistency for Pakistan's sub-par show; wants Babar to stay as captain
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