4 Reasons that led to Pakistan’s exit from the Asia Cup 2018
Pakistan after being knocked out of the Asia Cup will hope they can sort themselves out well ahead of the World Cup which is less than 35 weeks away.
Updated - Sep 27, 2018 3:01 pm
They started off as favourites, had the luxury of playing in their own backyard – albeit an adopted one – but Pakistan have once again slumped. This has been a trademark of this current side: Sarfraz Ahmed seems to have assembled a bunch of men, who individually are undeniably good cricketers, but as a team are in no position to up their game.
This edition of the Asia Cup has been particularly disappointing for the Pakistanis, and their humiliating exit from the tournament calls for proper dissection. Here’s a look at the four reasons behind Pakistan’s poor show in the 2018 Asia Cup.
1. Overdependence on the top order for runs
Pakistan’s openers are, on paper, as explosive as any other world cricket may have seen. In Imam ul-Haq they have a steady yet attacking batsman, who looks to stay at the crease for as long as possible and keep the scoreboard ticking. Imam has done a fine job with the bat in the Asia Cup: he scored 3 fifties, two of which he extended into 80+ individual scores. At the other end however, the more aggressive Fakhar Zaman has been a right disappointment.
Fakhar rose to fame for his heroic century which practically handed Pakistan their maiden Champions Trophy title. But the left-hander has only managed to squeeze out 56 runs off the five matches he’s played, which included two consecutive ducks.
At no.3 was their pillar Babar Azam, who wasn’t particularly impressive either. He got a 66 against Afghanistan and fell three short of a second fifty against India. Barring these two knocks, Babar has looked fairly scratchy as well. The man who did play the role of the pillar was veteran Shoaib Malik, but he was juggled around, finding himself at no.4 and at times at no.5. Pakistan were clearly dependent on their top order to fire, but that wasn’t to be. When the runs didn’t come freely, they got restless and lost their wicket cheaply, which was exemplified in the group game against India.