The Bowling and Fielding Letdown

Babar Azam didn't mince his words when he acknowledged the bowlers' inability to maintain the pressure on Afghan batters. Pakistan's spinners couldn't find the right lengths on a pitch that favored their skills, allowing the opposition to build momentum.

"We started well in the middle overs, but we needed wickets. The pitch was helping the spinners even in the second innings. But we, especially our spinners, didn't hit our lengths. Every over we conceded a boundary, so there was no pressure on their batsmen," Babar said.

Fielding woes compounded Pakistan's troubles. The captain pointed out a lack of focus and proactiveness in the field, emphasizing the importance of a fielding unit's attitude and fitness.

“Fielding is all about attitude. And I don't see any attitude from the team. You need to put in extra effort and be fit. You should focus on the ball, not on other thoughts and when the ball comes to you, you have to be proactive as a fielder. I think we are lacking that a little bit as a fielding unit,” he added.

Narrow Margin of Error

The margin of error for Pakistan's bowlers was deemed narrow, particularly on pitches like Chepauk, where deviation from the right line and length often resulted in boundaries.

“Here, the margin of error for bowlers is very low. If you bowl a little bit away from the stumps, you get hit. So, we are lacking there a little bit. We are not able to bowl within the stumps,” Babar further said.

Even the spinners faced challenges, with the importance of maintaining consistency underlined by Babar Azam. Inconsistent bowling within the stumps and the occasional release of boundaries hindered Pakistan's efforts.

"The same goes for the spinners. We bowl four good balls and then there are two balls that go for boundaries or runs, because the margin is very small. If you bowl consistently at one place, then there will be pressure. So that thing is missing,” he added.

As Pakistan looks forward to their next matches in the ODI World Cup 2023, the captain's words serve as a rallying cry for the team. The challenges are clear, but the quest for improvement and success remains unwavering.