Saturday, February 21, 2015

pakistan is performing bad also behind some associate nations world cup 2015 australia newzealand

  • pakistan is performing bad also behind some associate nations  world cup 2015 australia newzealand
  • tumbling pakistan in world cup 2015 to reman in contest
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pakistan  team is tumbling badly to remain in world cup 2015

If you were a Pakistan cricket fan searching for quality cricket, Hagley Oval on Saturday was not the place to look. Game ten of the 2015 ICC World Cup pitted two unpredictable teams together, Pakistan and West Indies, but in the first half of this crucial fixture itself the seeds for another Pakistan defeat were sowed.
Catches were dropped. One of them an obligatory let-off by an Akmal. Two from Shahid Afridi, who also reviewed five wides down the leg side. Throws missed the stumps. The seven-foot Mohammad Irfan rolled over trying to field the ball and gave up a run. One of Pakistan's several misfields saw Ahmed Shehzad get hit in the groin. Nasir Jamshed, brought into Pakistan's XI in place of Yasir Shah, left the field after 29 deliveries with a finger injury sustained when dropping a catch. His replacement for the remainder of West Indies' innings was Shah, who took two catches to outdo Jamshed's contribution to the match (the recalled opener made a second-ball duck). While the cricket from Pakistan on view during the first 50 overs of this ODI was mediocre, there was plenty to keep viewers engaged. Hope would have floated. It's Pakistan, after all.
But then came a batting collapse for the ages. Sensational even by Pakistan standards. Four wickets for one run. Pakistan's worst start to an ODI innings. Ever. Which became 25 for 5 when Misbah-ul-Haq, the batting mainstay who a day earlier called on his fellow batsmen to stand up, flashed outside off stump and was taken in the slip cordon. It was not fun to watch.
Jamshed was hurried into a pull shot outside off stump and found midwicket. Younis Khan flashed a leaden-footed drive off the first ball he faced. Haris Sohail played at Jason Holder with an angle bat and nicked to gully. Three batsmen, three ducks. Next, Ahmed Shehzad drove hard at a full ball from Taylor and edged to gully. When Misbah slashed at Andre Russell and found first slip, Pakistan had lost half the side for 25 runs in 58 balls. No rearguard of any proportions was going to bring Pakistan back, ridiculous predictive WhatsApp messages be damned. West Indies could not have expected it to be so easy.
A day before this match, Misbah stressed that there was no need to panic with regards to Pakistan's batting. Facing up to the media after the crushing defeat, he chose his words carefully but the disappointment was unmistakable. "We just lost in all three departments. Could not bowl well, dropped a lot of catches, and the batting totally flopped," Misbah said. "There's no blame game, no scope for ifs and buts. We need to pick ourselves up mentally and skill wise, need to come hard in the next games. We are at the edge."
Pakistan's World Cup campaign has been marred by alleged rifts and reported fines being handed out, as well as the resignation of the team's fielding coach which was subsequently settled by the PCB, but Misbah denied anything like that had affected the team.
"At this moment, nothing is going right. It is totally up to the players. They have to execute their skills. At the end of the day, as a bowler, fielder or batsman you have to perform. That's what we are not doing at the moment," he said. "In these conditions we are struggling, not getting used to the pitches while batting, especially against the new ball which we are not handling well. That's it. There's nothing wrong in the team. We were completely outdone by the conditions. We need to forget this, learn from it and move on. If you get trapped in the previous two games, you're not going to perform."
It is not a pretty situation to be in. Misbah is obviously struggling with the loss of his trusted strike-bowler, Saeed Ajmal, the integral all-round skills of Mohammad Hafeez, the failure of Umar Gul to prove his fitness and a last-minute injury to Junaid Khan. Younis' poor run of scores is a big concern too. And yet Misbah's reasoning that Pakistan were struggling to adapt to conditions here rang hollow.
Shehzad averages 37 in New Zealand, with an ODI century here in 2011. Umar Akmal has a Test century here to go with three fifties. Younis has toured New Zealand thrice, his Test batting average a superb 65.28. Misbah himself averages 52 in ODIs and 41 in Tests in the country. That horrible sinking feeling about this Pakistan team has to do with technical shortcomings but equally with application. As for the five dropped catches and overthrows and stumbles, well that is a trait Pakistan have shown can disappear with the changing of wind. But performances like today won't win them many matches, particularly with such a shaky batting order.
Pakistan are not out of it yet, and fans will of course remember their team's 1992 World Cup campaign. Then, Imran Khan's team had looked down and out after losing four of their first five league matches, already depleted by injury to Waqar Younis that ruled him out of the tournament. Yet they scraped into he semis after Imran, in his 40th year and nursing a troublesome right shoulder, famously told his team-mates something along the lines of: "Listen, just be as if you were a cornered tiger".
Misbah's team is cornered alright, needing to win handsomely their remaining matches to have a shot at the quarter-finals. They are "on the edge", as he put it, and in dire need of something special. Where will it come from?