What went wrong for Pakistan in the match against India in the Asia Cup [Analysis]

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What went wrong for Pakistan in the match against India in the Asia Cup [Analysis]

Pakistan were defeated by arch-rivals India in a gruelling fashion during a high-octane game at the 2022 Asia Cup. India’s Men in Green were unable to begin their journey after being put to bat first. They then made a stunning comeback using the ball and almost secured an incredible victory. The final match, Pakistan were unable to get a win, and the majority of the blame was on their own shortcomings instead of being outclassed by their opponents.

The Green Shirts made some crucial errors throughout the game that ultimately led to their demise and, if they’d been able to keep their cool and play their best and play their best, the outcome of this match could have be in their favour.

Let’s take a look at the factors that contributed to Pakistan’s defeat in the game:

Batting Order

The conservative approach of Pakistan and their inability to invent their lineup of the batting team impacted the match at the beginning of the game. It was evident that the Men in Green looked timid in their approach, and they failed to make a move, which ended in a gap of 20-25 runs.

Even though Babar as well as Rizwan have proven to be dazzling openers in the most compact style of play their departures early on expose the weak batsmanship and batting of this team. All-rounder star, Shadab Khan, who has proven himself by batting throughout the Pakistan Super League (PSL) should be used in the middle of the order when the situation calls for it. He could be the difference-maker during the match in the event that he was positioned over Iftikhar Ahmed, or Khushdil Shah.

Shadab’s wicket with low risk could have been perfect in the circumstances even if he didn’t succeed. If Shadab was able to turn the attack over against India’s Indian bowlers for just a few overs, the total of Pakistan could have been greater even if he didn’t succeed, Pakistan still had Iftikhar, Khushdil, and Asif Ali who could have come into.

To the contrary, India looked at the circumstances in the match and sent their all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja, up the order, recognizing that Pakistan aren’t equipped with an effective off-spinner that could challenge the left-handed player. Jadeja’s superb performance was the key difference in the game between India and Pakistan at the end.

Inability to assess the pitch

Inability of Pakistan’s players to understand the conditions of the pitch was also a major cost to them. Before the game’s start the experts said that 180 was an ideal score for the pitch, however the conditions presented an entirely different image. If Pakistan decided to keep 160 as an optimal goal the match shouldn’t have been an issue.

The batters were in a rut following an unsteady start, and decided to seek out boundaries rather than playing it in a safe manner as well as keeping the scoreboard moving. Khushdil Shah Asif Ali Shadab Khan And Mohammad Nawaz, all capable batters of their own were able to hit large to give the momentum to the scoreboard , but failed on a difficult pitch.

If the team had played according to its strengths, and aimed to get to minimum 160, the outcome could be different.

Fitness

The fitness of the players was the main cause of anxiety for Pakistan as bowlers became swollen during the crucial parts of the match. Wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan, was the first player to feel fatigue. Fast bowlers Haris Rauf as well as Naseem Shah, followed suit.

The Men in Green have been trained to the heat of the UAE and cramping up during an intense game shouldn’t be cause for concern for the top athletes. It was ultimately the fitness of the players that harmed Pakistan when the bowlers failed to show their full potential in the final.

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Rizwan was struggling well, and allowed a few extras to go through, which could be kept in check. Rizwan’s poor glovework with Rauf’s erratic line and length at the end of the game let his Indian batters to ease the pressure, and eventually win the win.

Poor Tactics

Pakistan’s inability to adjust to the changing circumstances and pay attention to “match-ups” was a major source of worry. As India chose to bring in an left-handed player to interfere with the Pakistan bowling line-up but they Men in Green failed to react. Babar’s decision not to try Iftikhar Ahmed’s off-spin even for an over in the middle part in the match was an enigmatic choice.

Although the choice may not have worked out, nonetheless, an effort must be made to counterattack India. Discrediting Babar on account of his captaincy choice is also a mistake, as taking such risk in a high-octane game with the knowledge that it could be a disaster, is a big decision on its own.

Slow Over Rate

They Green Shirts were also forced to bowl with an extra fielder in the circle from 17th over and onwards because of their slow rate of overs. When we talk about slow over rates as well as the fact that mishaps occurred due to multiple breaks because of injuries sustained by a number of cricketers, the captain ought to have kept bowlers under control. It could be a case of clutching at straws, but Iftikhar as well as Khushdil might have had the chance to be used in the middle to prevent the penalty.

The players must be proud of how they played until the final moment when they nearly secured victory right from the brink of defeat. Pakistan will be looking for revenge and are hoping to be able to play in the Super 4s , and then face India time in the following round. This time around the think-tank must be looking to capitalize on their strengths and take advantage of the weaknesses of their opponents.

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