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Babar Azam: Pakistan need to be more proactive in fielding

Babar Azam: Pakistan need to be more proactive in fielding

Babar Azam: Pakistan need to be more proactive in fielding

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam

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  • Babar Azam expressed strong disappointment after their loss to Afghanistan.
  • Babar criticized his bowlers for their inability to take wickets.
  • Babar emphasized the need for consistency in the execution of bowling plans.
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Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan, did not hold back when criticizing his squad after they lost to Afghanistan by eight wickets.

Babar expressed his disappointment, citing his bowlers’ incapacity to take up wickets in the middle overs and his fielders’ lack of initiative and focus.

When Pakistan batted first, they scored 282 for 7, a total that Afghanistan easily chased down with one over remaining. After Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi put Afghanistan ahead with an uninterrupted 96-run partnership, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran gave them a promising start of 130. It was Pakistan’s first World Cup failure to defend a target of more than 275.

“Yes, the defeat has hurt us a lot,” Babar said after the game. “We wanted to put up a total of around 280-290. After we achieved that, we were not up to the mark with our bowling and fielding. The spinners didn’t bowl the way we wanted them to in the middle overs.

“We started well in the middle overs, but we needed wickets. The pitch was helping the spinners even in the second innings. But we, especially our spinners, didn’t hit our lengths. Every over we conceded a boundary, so there was no pressure on their batsmen.”

In Chennai, Pakistan’s spinners Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, and Iftikhar Ahmed returned zero for 131 from 21 overs, while the Afghanistan spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, and Noor Ahmad took 4 for 176 from their combined 38 overs.

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Babar stated that the Pakistani bowlers had their strategies ready, but they were not carried out, which prevented them from applying pressure. Additionally, he remarked that the team’s fielding was deficient.

“We are not able to click in all departments at the same time,” Babar said. “When we do well in bowling, we don’t do well in batting. When we do well in batting, we don’t do as well in fielding.

“Fielding is all about 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 to you, you have to be proactive as a fielder. I think we are lacking that a little bit as a fielding unit.

“In the bowling, we have not been able to execute our plans. When you are not able to hit the length you want to and end up conceding boundaries, your focus shifts to stopping runs. In that, you keep making mistakes, and that puts you under pressure.

“Here, the margin of error for bowlers is very low. If you bowl a little bit away from the stumps, you get hit. So, we are lacking there a little bit. We are not able to bowl within the stumps.

“The same goes for the spinners. We bowl four good balls and then there are two balls that go for boundaries or runs because the margin is very small. If you bowl consistently at one place, then there will be pressure. So that thing is missing.”

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Babar’s World Cup batting form has been lackluster, notwithstanding his 74 on Monday. His career average of 56.79 is far higher than his five-inning total of 157 runs at an average of 31.40. Babar denied that his batting was being impacted by being the captain.

“As far as captaincy is concerned, there is not much pressure on me or on my batting. I always try to give my best, my 100% during batting. During fielding, I think about captaincy, and during batting I just think about the batting. How I should score runs for the team.”

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ICC World Cup 2023: Late overs boundaries from Iftikhar, Shadab helped post a target of 283
ICC World Cup 2023: Late overs boundaries from Iftikhar, Shadab helped post a target of 283

Pakistan scored 282 runs and lost 7 wickets. Shafique scored 58 rus...

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