Pakistan lost the first #PakvsAus ODI yesterday in Lahore by 88 runs and so, here is a look at why it seems that the green shirts might lose the three match series to a second string Australian side.
A Weak Batting Line Up, An Outdated Approach
Pakistan has had issues with its middle-order particularly in the ODI format since long and hence, the opening encounter once again presented a weak picture of the available resources. Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel and Khushdil Shah lack experience and have failed on multiple occasions by now. The men in green continue to rely heavily on Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam and Mohd. Rizwan. Still, apart from Fakhar, no one else in the list has the ability to play the big shots on a consistent basis. This was evident yesterday as well during Imam and Babar’s partnership in which both seemed cautious. The outdated strategy of keeping wickets in hand didn’t work because Pakistan’s middle and lower-order did not have the sort of big-hitters who could have compensated later in the innings.
So, as of now clearly, the green shirts neither have batsmen who can keep the score board ticking over 6 an over from the word go nor the kind of power hitters who can change things around quickly towards the end of an innings. Australia’s second string side on the other hand has modern cricketers who despite a lack of experience have the talent and ability to play out their quota of fifty overs effectively.
A Tired Looking Squad
Most of the Pakistani cricketers picked up injuries after the conclusion of PSL 7. Other, definitely needed rest but it wasn’t possible because of the three match Test series. Key players like Babar Azam, Mohd. Rizwan, Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali look over worked. Shadab Khan if available to play again will be coming off a long injury lay off while Mohd. Nawaz is also not available because of an injury. Shoaib Malik and Imad Wasim for whatever reason were ignored for the series by the selectors.