Batsmen blamed once again for Pakistan’s failures

KARACHI: Pakistan, after being whitewashed in the five-match ODI series, have also begun their three-match T20I series against New Zealand with a defeat, and experts have once again put the blame at the doorsteps of the batsmen.

Put in to bat, Pakistan were reduced to 38-6 in nine overs; virtually ending the match before the quarter-way mark.

Babar Azam’s 41 was the only contribution of note from among the specialist batsmen, while Hasan Ali (23) was the only other player to reach double figures during a dismal batting performance that saw the visitors dismissed for just 105.

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Left-arm pacer Rumman Raees did give New Zealand something to think about when he claimed two early wickets but it would have required a minor miracle for Pakistan to successfully defend their score.

Former Pakistan opener Imran Nazir feels the top-order’s inexperience is the issue behind the Men in Green’s failures. “The batsmen in the top order are not experienced enough,” he said. “They don’t have a lot of idea about how to deal with such pitches and what shots to play on them.”

Nazir believes better shot-selection could have helped the Men in Green play better. “The shots Pakistan played and the way they lost their wickets were certainly not the shots to be played,” he said. “Cross-batted shots on these pitches are not an ideal option. The batsmen should have consulted experienced players or the Pakistan Cricket Board should have used experienced players to train these younger kids.”

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The right-handed batsman also discussed how frustrating it must be for the fans to watch the Pakistani batsmen throw their wickets away like that. “Pakistan were asked to bat first so they should have had a score of something like 190. They could then have settled for 150 or so when the wickets started falling but they should have had an idea regarding what sort of total their bowlers could defend on this pitch.”

‘Bowlers could have defended 140’

Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq said the bowlers would have been able to defend a total of 140 or more if the batsmen had done their job.

“The bowlers are doing a bit better than the batsmen are right now,” he said. “However, if they don’t have a good total to defend then they will have added pressure on them to take wickets. That usually leads to poor deliveries since they have no option but to attack.”

Razzaq discussed the difficult nature of the task the bowlers were faced with when defending such a low total. “When you have such a low target to defend, even one or two bad overs are enough to finish the game off,” he said. “That is all it takes to end all the pressure and help the batsmen reach their target without having a lot of problems.”

Like his former teammate Nazir, Razzaq also felt the batsmen should have known what kind of target the bowlers could have defended and should have planned accordingly.

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