Pakistan’s performance in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 has broken many hearts. They lost four consecutive matches in the ODI World Cup for the first time, damaging their chances of qualifying for the tournament’s semifinals. Pakistan have been unable to perform up to expectations despite going into the World Cup as the top-ranked team of the format.
Although Pakistan’s performance has left the country’s cricket fraternity in shock and frustration, it might not be too unexpected if looked at closely. Pakistan have faced several factors that lessened their ability to perform up to their potential in the ongoing mega-event.
1) A Damaged Pace Attack
The ODI World Cup 2023 has seen Pakistan face a turbulent start, with the team losing four consecutive matches for the first time in their history. One of the primary reasons behind this disappointing performance is the instability in their pace attack.
Initially formidable with Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, and Haris Rauf, Pakistan’s fast-bowling unit was severely hampered by Naseem’s injury. This blow left Pakistan struggling to maintain the edge they once had with their pace bowlers, an essential element in limited-overs cricket.
2) Unfamiliar Indian Conditions
For the first time in ODI World Cup history, Pakistan found themselves playing in India. The unfamiliar Indian conditions posed a significant challenge for the Pakistani team. These conditions predominantly favored spinners, an area where the Green Shirts are lagging.
Statistically, Shadab Khan is the most dependable batter against spin bowling in the squad, which shows the main batters’ vulnerability against spinners. The team’s struggle to adapt to these conditions has been evident, affecting their overall performance.
3) Spin Woes and Lack of Form
Not only did Pakistan’s pace attack face issues, but their spin department also suffered due to the inconsistent form of key players like Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz. Usama Mir’s struggles further compounded the team’s problems.
A strong and in-form spin attack could have significantly contributed to Pakistan’s success in the World Cup. However, the inconsistency and lack of form among spinners have added to the team’s woes.
4) PCB’s Non-Cooperation and Management Turmoil
Another factor that has played a role in Pakistan’s struggles is the alleged non-cooperation from the Pakistan Cricket Board.
While the coach of the team has claimed that players were not affected by the lack of salary payments for five months or the lack of coordination from the PCB, these issues have undoubtedly created a sense of turmoil in the management of the team.
A stable and supportive board is crucial for any team’s success, and the uncertainty surrounding the PCB has been a distraction for the players.
5) Immense Pressure and Mental Struggles
Playing in India has brought immense pressure on Pakistani players, both from the crowd and the government. The delay in the issuance of visas limited the players’ time to acclimatize before the World Cup.
Moreover, the players have been subjected to repetitive bullying from the crowd, including abusive chants, allegations, and even police cases. This constant mental pressure has taken a toll on the team, particularly because many of the players were participating in their first-ever matches in India.
Pakistan’s struggles in the ODI World Cup 2023 can be attributed to a combination of factors. While these challenges are not insurmountable, they have undoubtedly disrupted the team’s ability to perform up to their potential. As the tournament progresses, it will be essential for Pakistan to regroup, address these issues, and strive to improve their performance in the remaining matches to end their World Cup campaign on a decent note, however, the chances of the team qualifying for the next round are now extremely narrow.
Source: Pro Pakistani