The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Pakistan team started the 2019 World Cup campaign on a disastrous note as the Windies beat them by seven wickets at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The defeat was hefty enough to dent their Net Run Rate to a significant extent. Though the Men in Green rolled over England at the same venue, Sarfaraz Ahmed & Co lost to Australia and arch-rivals India to languish at the bottom half of the points table. Thereafter, the fans lashed out the Pakistan team for not showing enough professionalism and also not putting enough emphasis on fitness.
However, Sarfaraz’s men soared above the expectations and kept making a thunderous comeback, winning three matches in a row. Pakistan defeated Afghanistan, New Zealand and South Africa to bring themselves in contention for a berth in the semi-final of the mega event. Unfortunately, they needed England to lose their match against New Zealand in Chester-le-Street, which eventually didn’t happen.
Pakistan are next scheduled to play Bangladesh at the Lord’s and mathematically, they still have a chance of moving to the next round. England, India and Australia are already through and Pakistan’s competition is with the Black Caps. If they win the game, then they’ll equal the Kiwis on 11 points.
PCB needs to think very carefully
However, their NRR is way below New Zealand and need to win by a margin of over 300 runs in order to defy the inevitable. If Bangladesh bats first, then that will dash Pakistan’s hopes one last time. In the meantime, Moin Khan, the former Men in Green’s wicketkeeper-batsman, believes that his team didn’t underperform in the tournament by any stretch of the imagination.
“Look if we win against Bangladesh we would end the World Cup with five wins out of nine with one match abandoned which is not a bad performance by my standards. So, whatever the PCB does it needs to think very carefully because just changing faces or positions will not help,” Moin was quoted as saying on Times Now.
Previously, after Pakistan’s poor start in the tournament, the fans even didn’t stop hurling abuses at the players. Sarfaraz was also called a ‘pig’ by a fan in a mall. Even Shoaib Malik, the 38-year-old all-rounder, was a recipient of severe criticism after he was spotted in a sheesha place with wife Sania Mirza. Eventually, all of them had to come out with stern replies, answering the critics.