The second clash between arch-rivals Pakistan and India is today, but before the green shirts take the field against India in Dubai, there are a few things the national side needs to revise.
Work on their fielding
For as long as anyone can remember Pakistan’s downfall has been its fielding.
If there was anything the match against Afghanistan taught us, it was that our fielding needs some major work.
The opening overs of the match saw the Pakistan side drop five catches, which proved to be a turning point in the game as Afghanistan went on to score 257 and debutant Shaheen Shah Afridi missed a chance to pick five wickets.
Skipper needs to step up
Pakistani cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed has so far failed to make a mark in the ongoing Asia Cup.
With a batting average of just over 14 since last year’s Champions Trophy in England, Sarfraz has managed to score eight off 12 in the game against Afghanistan while scoring six runs against India.
The recently concluded series against Zimbabwe saw the Pakistani skipper scoring 6* and 13*.
However, the batsman will have to turn the tables around and chip in with more than eight and six if he is seriously considering playing next year’s World Cup.
Solid opening partnership
Before the tournament got underway, if there was one name that the entire Pakistani nation had its hopes pinned on to it was opener Fakhar Zaman.
The batsman had an incredible series against Zimbabwe where we scored a double century and smashed a few records on the way to thump Zimbabwe.
However, so far Fakhar has failed to make a mark in the tournament.
In the three games that he had played so far, Fakhar has scored a duck in the last two games against India and Afghanistan, while chipping in with 24 in a low-scoring game against Hong Kong.
A solid opening partnership with Imam-ul-Haq who has so far proven why he belongs in the team could be a game changer for Pakistan.
Dependent middle order
Shoaib Malik unbeaten 50 along with Babar Azam’s 66 were what saved the game for men in green shirts against Afghanistan on Friday night.
However, a one-off performance is not something that can help the team in the long run.
Against India, Pakistan’s middle-order once again gave a questionable performance with Malik and Azam scoring 47 and 43 before the rest of the tail crumbled fro 163.
Not give into pressure
Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur while speaking to the media after the loss against India had blamed his team’s heavy loss on the batsman saying, “They could not handle the pressure and played well “outside” of their roles.”
He further added, “It was the pressure that got to Imam, out of his role, he had two off eight but Fakhar had just faced a maiden. He tried to have a go, he tried to hit the ball that’s not in his area. I do think there was a little bit of pressure.”
Not being able to able to stay on the crease for more than a few overs and playing aggressively and giving away wickets away cheaply in high voltage matches is something Pakistan needs to work on.