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Babar Azam Admits to Shortcomings After Pakistan’s Embarrassing Loss to USA in T20 World Cup

Dallas: Pakistan cricket team captain Babar Azam acknowledged the team’s shortcomings following their stunning defeat to the USA in their opening match of the T20 World Cup 2024 at Grand Prairie Stadium on Thursday.

In a thrilling match that concluded with a Super Over, the USA triumphed by five runs. In the Super Over, the USA managed to score 18 runs with the loss of 1 wicket. In response, Pakistan could only achieve 13-1, leading to their unexpected loss.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, the 29-year-old skipper highlighted the team’s failure to capitalize in the first six overs. “Back-to-back wickets always put you on the back foot. As a batter, you need to step up and build partnerships,” Babar said. He noted that while the team managed a comeback after the initial overs, the rapid dismissal of wickets caused them to lose momentum again.

“My partnership with Shadab was promising, but then two wickets fell, and we lost momentum again,” he explained, emphasizing the need for improvement in both the middle order and bowling. “Our score was adequate for this pitch, but we need to enhance our bowling.”

He also highlighted the team’s failure to take early wickets, allowing the USA to establish a strong foundation with a 68-run partnership between Mohank Patel and Andries Gous. “I am upset. We are not playing good in all three departments,” Babar admitted. “We are better than that in the bowling; we are not taking wickets in the first six overs. In the middle overs, if your spinner is not taking wickets, then the pressure is on us.”

Reflecting on the match, Babar noted Pakistan’s tendency to underestimate less established teams in major tournaments. “Whenever you come into any tournament, you always do the best preparation,” Babar said to reporters. But you can say it’s a kind of mindset; when you come up against a team like this, you relax a little. You take things a little lightly.”

Babar emphasized the importance of executing plans effectively against any opponent. “If you don’t execute your plan against any team, then whatever team it is, they will beat you. I believe that we are not up to the mark in executing. We are doing well in preparation, but in the match, we are not executing our plans as a team,” he added.

Despite the loss, Babar praised the USA for their performance, especially their finish in the Super Over. “But I think the way they finished the game in the Super Over, credit to the US team,” he remarked.

Babar pointed out that the bowlers did not perform well in the first six overs and stressed the importance of improving for upcoming matches. He also remarked on the spinners’ performance, saying, “Our spinners did not take wickets in the middle overs, so these things cost us.”

Babar also discussed the match conditions, noting the pitch’s moisture and two-paced nature, which posed challenges. Despite this, he expressed hope for a strong comeback in future matches.

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