Pakistan suffered a nine-wicket defeat against India at Asia Cup 2018 Super Four
Two back to back awful performances against India in Asia Cup 2018 have nothing new in themselves but just to have added further misereres to Pakistani fans. Pakistan’s humiliating defeat against India hadn’t yet been brushed aside of memories, another terrible all-around performance by Pakistan in Super Four match last night turned out to be the worst nightmare.
In a batting friendly wicket at Dubai, Pakistan just managed to stretch its total to 237 runs in stipulated 50 overs, 75 more than it had put on board against India in the initial round on September 19.
From the very beginning, Pakistan looked over cautious and didn’t even try to dominate the Indian bowlers. Resultantly, both the openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam Ul Haq returned to the pavilion for just 55.
One could understand of old-fashioned batting display by Pakistani openers as just to avoid losing early wickets, which had already occurred in their first encounter against India, but considering the Indian batting lineup and pitch condition, it was probably overemphasized. In addition, Pakistan’s inability to review the decision on which Fakhar was given out cost heavily.
Even then though Pakistan brought itself back in the game with a 107-run partnership between Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik, losing wickets with little intervals restricted them to 237 only.
But what wasn’t really unexpected was the below-par bowling performance by Pakistan. Not only they seemed struggling to find a consistent line and length but a couple of dropped catches also helped India crushed Pakistan badly.
In the last two ODIs, Pakistan have taken 4 catches and dropped 6. #PakvInd
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) September 23, 2018
Both the Indian openers Rohit Sharman and Shikhar Dhawan batted with tremendous ease and hit tons. India reached the target in 39.4 Overs with nine wickets still in hand.
In the post-match press conference, Pakistan Coach Mickey Arthur though defended Captain Sarfraz Ahmed but admitted to having lacking confidence within the team’s ranks.
Can another Pakistan’s humiliating defeat against India be avoided?
Inarguably, the lack of confidence and the inability to absorb pressure in matches especially against India have really dented Pakistan in recent years. Though overall with 73 victories out of 131 ODIs, Pakistan enjoys a 57.48 winning percentage against India but in last 10 years, out of 14 bilateral battles, it tasted victory in just 5 matches.
However it’s not over yet, Pakistan may still bounce back in Asia Cup 2018 and by beating Bangladesh in next ODI on September 26 at Abu Dhabi, it may once again engage with India in the final on September 28. But to escape another humiliating defeat against India or even produce a replica of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final, Pakistan must quickly learn how to deal with pressure and improve its fielding standard.