A roller coaster ride for Pakistan Cricket team has almost ended with the match between England and New Zealand where Pakistani fans were rooting for New Zealand but England stood victorious. Despite the equal number of wins to that of New Zealand, Pakistan Cricket team could not qualify for semi final and ended at fifth spot. Pakistani fans have to wait for another four years now to wish for winning cricket world cup or to experience another heartbreak? Who knows?
Let us have a look on reasons for exit of Pakistan before knockout round.
1. Team Selection
Selection committee selected Asif Ali and Hasnain on the basis of PSL. Asif Ali couldn’t proved his worth. He not only failed with the bat but also dropped important catches in match against Australia. Whereas team management was not sure to play Hasnain and he remained part of bench throughout the tournament. Junaid khan would have been a better alternative to Hasnain.
No backup opener was there in the squad so we had to stick with Fakhar and Imam despite their continuous failure. No Power hitter was in the team. The selection criteria of some of “senior players” was their experience and seniority instead of their performance.
With this kind of selection Pakistan should feel happy to end at 5th spot.
2. The Match against West Indies
Pakistan started their expedition with match and against West Indies where it happened what we call “trade mark batting collapse”. Whole Pakistani team bundled out on 105 in 22 overs. Not only this but on same pitch Pakistani bowling couldn’t do wonders and opponent chased the target in 14 overs resulting in drastic Net Run Rate of -5. This Run rate has cost Pakistan more than anything towards the end of the Tournament as Pakistan team couldn’t recover from a negative NRR.
3. Sloppy Fielding
Pakistan has been very ordinary in field. The team dropped most number of catches in world cup i.e. 14. Imagine all those catches being caught or even half. In Match against Australia, Pakistan team dropped at least 3 catches including that of David Warner who ended up with a century. Pakistan lost that match by only 40 odd runs. Imagine if Asif Ali took those two catches.. that’s all we can do now, Imagine.
Asif ali dropped two catches which turned the whole game against Pakistan.
Even n match against South Africa, team dropped as many as 5 catches. Pakistan should consider lucky they ended up winning that match as luck doesn’t favor that much every time.
4. Not winning with big margins
Pakistan had its chances against New Zealand and Afghanistan where they had to chase 237 and 228 respectively. Pakistan chased both the targets in last overs hence failing to make their run-rate better when it was easily possible with a little effort in batting. But after all its Pakistan, the unpredictable with trademark batting collapse. “Mighty Pakistan Bowling” couldn’t restrict newbie Afghan team under 150 and then in chase the wickets starting falling like leaves. Thanks to Imad Wasim and Wahab Riaz who kept their nerve and won it for Pakistan but Pakistan chance to gain a better Run-rate and cover the mistake of first match was gone.
5. Bad Luck
Despite winning same number of matches as that of New Zealand, Luck didn’t favor Pakistan in most cases. Pakistan match against Srilanka was washed out and only got 1 point. Pakistan had a better record of accomplishment against Srilanka in world cups and that win could lead Pakistan ahead of New Zealand towards end of Tournament.
West Indies couldn’t pull off its thrilling victory against New Zealand when Carlos Braithwaite was caught just some inches inside boundary and New Zealand won by only 5 runs.
New Zealand Won against South Africa. SA Captain didn’t take review of Kane Williamsons where he was out. New Zealand won that match.
New Zealand game against India was washed out resulting in 1 point each and that made a difference in points.
New Zealand didn’t play better but still qualify due to better run rate than Pakistan.
Hard Luck Team Pakistan
Hopefully Pakistan Cricket team would learn a lesson from this tournament and would try to play professional cricket instead of thrilling and unpredictable cricket in future. Nevertheless, Pakistani boys had a good time out there except few moments and we have to put on hold our dream to see Pakistan lifting the trophy, for another four years.