Pakistan will be looking to change their fortune as the green shirts go head to head against West Indies in their second World Cup match at Christchurch on Saturday.
Pakistan and West Indies were comprehensively beaten in their respective opening matches. Pakistan’s dismal show in the field and bat cost them two points against India whereas Ireland’s batsmen overpowered the Caribbean side in their match. This leaves both teams wondering what should be done to stay alive in the World Cup.
The green-shirts have to improve their batting and fielding if they are to make it to the quarterfinals of the mega event. In terms of batting, the Pakistan side is a ticking time-bomb which can go off at any stage of any match. They can perform really well and can fell apart on other occasions.
The Asian side’s openers have not been able to provide good starts for the team which affects the rest of the side as a whole. Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad have both been inconsistent while the decision of making Younus Khan open the innings in the game backfired badly as the veteran scored only six runs.
It cannot be said how Umar Akmal may perform for the Pakistan in the next couple of games but a chance should be given to Sarfraz Ahmed. Virat Kohli’s catch drop and a duck by Akmal made him the culprit. Virat Kohli went on to make a century after that dropped catch.
Overall, Akmal has a better average than Sarfraz but the selectors have to think twice about Sarfraz’s selection before finalizing the team’s playing XI against the West Indies because such costly mistakes in a World Cup should not be repeated.
As far as the team’s bowling is concerned, Sohail Khan impressed us all with his five-wicket haul in the match against India. He seemed to know exactly how to bowl in the late overs. He restricted the neighbouring country’s scoring rate and nearly took a hat trick. Wahab Riaz also managed to bowl some tight overs.
However, making Yasir Shah play the first World Cup match against arch-rivals India proved to be a mistake by the selectors as he did not seem ready for such a big match. He gave away runs and was in pressure throughout the game.
The selectors should pay attention towards Ehsan Adil and the new-comer Rahat Ali. Ehsan Adil bowled well for the side in the warm up match against England and an eye should be kept out out for Rahat Ali in the nets as well.
Pakistan should not repeat the mistakes which they committed in the crucial match against India. Good batting, focus in the field and bowling good line and length can win them this match and may even the tournament as well.