Pakistan have had a rough campaign at the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, going from being favourites to win the tournament to struggling to find a place in the knockout stages of the tournament. As things stand, Babar Azam‘s side have won just 2 of their 5 matches so far, losing 3 in a row to India, Australia and Afghanistan.
The Men in Green currently sit 6th in the World Cup points table with a net run rate of -0.400 and will now have to rely on the results of other teams as in addition to winning all their remaining World Cup matches.
Babar Azam has struggled both as an individual and a captain, with the world’s number one ODI batsman looking a shadow of his former self at the marquee event, while other players, with the exception of Mohammed Rizwan and probably Abdullah Shafique, have also struggled to find their feet in the tournament.
More importantly, Pakistan’s bowling line-up, which was the stronger component of their side, has looked toothless in subsequent matches while the spinners have been ineffective, as Iftikhar Ahmed admitted in his last press briefing.
He was earlier quoted by PTI as saying,”We do have finger spinners in our team, including me and (Mohammad) Nawaz. Yes, the role of our spinners hasn’t been that effective here. But we will keep trying to improve. That’s all we can do,”
Pakistan Cricket Board hints at Babar’s removal from captaincy:
Adding to the worries over skipper Babar Azam’s troubles, the Pakistan Cricket Board has issued a cryptic statement suggesting that the 29-year-old may be removed from the captaincy after carefully monitoring events at the ongoing World Cup.
PCB in a statement quoted by PTI said, “Addressing the media scrutiny directed at captain Babar Azam and the team management, the board’s stance, echoing that of former cricketers, is that successes and defeats are part of the game. Captain Babar Azam and Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq were given freedom and support in forming the squad for the ICC World Cup 2023,”
“Looking ahead, the board will make decisions in the best interest of Pakistan cricket based on the team’s performances in the World Cup. At present, the PCB encourages fans, former players and stakeholders to rally behind the team as they strive to make a triumphant comeback in the mega-event,” the statement added.