After the thrashing victory against the Kiwis, Pakistan received a thumping defeat from the tourists on Wednesday night at Abu Dhabi. It was a shocking performance that nobody was expected from the men in green. Green shirts’ performance was a total failure in all three departments of the game. From dropped catch by Babar Azam to dramatic collapse upfront in the batting; Pakistan were no nowhere near to the Kiwis. Kudos to the New Zealanders who displayed epic skills on field. They announced themselves that they are here to win and not just make up the numbers. While on the other hand, Sarfaraz & Co. needs to mend their ways through below mentioned points, in order to remain in the hunt for remainder of the series:
Top Order Needs to Fire
A thunderbolt spell from Kiwi pacer Trent Boult was proved enough for the Pakistani top three batsmen. That was such a sudden attack from Boult that jolted the Pakistani batting line so hard, that they were unable to recover thereon.
To neutralize the opponents Fakhar Zaman needs to acquire patience. He is such an important asset in the team who lifts the entire morale of dressing room. Yes! he has an attacking mindset but the pitches in UAE do not exactly support his style of play. He now needs to give himself sometime on crease, probably 10-15 balls just to get use to of the pace and conditions. Thereafter he can unleash his potential and go berserk against the furious New Zealand attack.
While Hafeez and Babar now just have to erase the memory of the previous game. Azam played a false shot off the delivery which was well wide from the off stump. But he went on to chase and just managed to edge that to the slip fielder. While being a senior and seasoned player, Hafeez needs to realize his importance and must try to apply himself as he was doing during recently concluded T20 series.
Maintain Intensity in the Field
Men in green were magnificent in the field during the T20 series against Australia and New Zealand as well. The run outs and exceptional catches became a highlight of those series.
The same efforts were missing in the last game. First of all, it was Babar Azam who dropped an easy catch of dangerous Colin Munro. Had Munro encashed that chance and played a long inning, situation of the game could have even more worst. But thanks to Shaheen who stopped him from doing so.
Now green shirts just need to repeat the episodes of last T20 series and force visitors to struggle to get every single run.
During Asia Cup, Hassan Ali was not up to the mark as he generally use to have. His performance certainly forced everyone to raise eye brows. His ODI form has been on the downward slope which is alarming for Micky Arthur and Co.
Similarly, Hassan Ali leaked runs in the crucial death overs which enabled Kiwis to score more than 50 runs in the last five overs. From 7 down for 210 to 266 clearly suggest bowling was bad and main culprit proved to be Hassan Ali. It looks like Faheen Ashraf would make his way in to the playing XI as he is not only a good bowler with the new ball but would also be handy with the bat lower down the order. So, it should be a trio of Junaid, Shaheen and Faheem in the next game.
If Sarfaraz XI want to end losing streak from New Zealand (eight losses in a row), they really have to pull their socks up and remain one step ahead of their opponents. New Zealand have good pace attack and sound batting order to score or chase any sort of total. But with above mentioned fine tuning, men in green can turn the tides in their favor.