India completely dominated Pakistan during their Asia Cup 2018 contest played in Dubai as they registered a convincing victory by 8 wickets. Pakistan were expected to give India a tough time in the match because of entering the tournament with a winning momentum and their performance during Champions Trophy 2017 final. However, it was not the case, Pakistan looked vulnerable in all departments of the game, whereas India looked a much balanced and composed team.
Here is what we learned from Indo-Pak clash in Asia Cup 2018.
Pakistan have a top-heavy batting line
If Pakistan lose a couple of quick wickets early in the inning, the fragility of their batting line becomes obvious. With Sarfraz Ahmed batting at fifth, only Asif Ali, Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf are left in the lower middle-order to bat. The Islamabad United trio does not look much promising to hold the innings together if there is a collapse at the top of the order. An option for Pakistan is to promote Asif Ali up the order and push Sarfraz Ahmed at sixth to have some experience at the lower middle-order.
No part-time bowlers
Shadab Khan had to leave the field in the middle of an over due to some discomfort. With the leggie out of the game, Pakistan did not have any bowler to fill the vacuum and Fakhar Zaman had to bowl 6 six overs, though he did a fine job, but he is not a bowler Sarfraz Ahmed can depend upon. Moreover, Shoaib Malik also bowled two overs and he looked completely out of groove while bowling.
Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik are key
Pakistan were struggling with 2 wickets down on just 3 runs. In that situation, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik had a brilliant partnership of 82 runs. The team was under immense pressure, but the class of Babar Azam and experience of Shoaib Malik almost sailed the sinking ship of Pakistan before Kudeep Yadav got the better of Babar with a beautiful wrong one. However, it showed that these two batsmen can play match-winning innings at crucial points.
Shadab Khan the trump card
Sarfraz Ahmed took 13 overs to bring Shadab Khan into the attack, by then Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan had taken the game away from Pakistan. However, on the first delivery of leggie’s spell, Shadab removed Rohit Sharma with a magical googly, which showed he will be crucial for Pakistan in these conditions.