Pakistan made an early exit from the World Cup 2023 when they were officially knocked out from the race to the semifinals after going down to England on Saturday. The Men in Green were required to do an improbable task of beating England by a hefty margin to storm into the top four in the World Cup standings. But all they could manage was a 93-run loss at the hands of a depleted England side at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
In between the tournament when Pakistan were facing stiff competition for the semifinals, there were voices from cricket experts, especially in Pakistan, for Babar Azam to step down from the captaincy. Babar has dropped a major hint on the debate going around his leadership, stating that he is keen to lead the team in the rebuild phase.
We will sit together and take stock. We’ll take positives from this and discuss mistakes. I’m keen to lead the rebuild. Yes, very disappointed with the performance. If we had won the South Africa match, it could have been a different story. But yes, have made mistakes in bowling, batting and fielding,” Babar said after Pakistan’s loss in the post-match ceremony.
‘Spinners aren’t taking wickets’: Babar
The Pakistan captain also reflected on an issue which has had a ‘big effect’ in the tournament which was that his spinners have not taken wickets in the middle phase. “We conceded a few too many runs. We bowled a few loose deliveries towards the end. And our spinners’ aren’t taking wickets, which doesn’t help. That has a big effect because you need to take wickets in the middle overs,” he added.
Notably, coach Mickey Arthur threw his weight behind Babar stating that he is close to him and needs to be taken on. “We were a real tight-knit unit. I get behind Babar. Babar is very, very close to me. He’s a young guy that needs to be taken on the journey with. He needs to be shown the rope,” Arthur said after Pakistan’s loss.
“He’s still learning all the time. We know he’s a very, very fine batsman. He learns every day with his captaincy. He’s growing and we have to allow him the time to grow. And in order to do that, you (have to allow him to) make mistakes. It’s not a crime to make mistakes as long as you learn from those mistakes and as a group, we’ve made a lot of mistakes this World Cup but if this group grows and learns from it, we’ve got the core of a very, very good side,” Arthur added.
Pakistan registered only four wins in World Cup 2023. They defeated the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and New Zealand to stay on 8 points from 9 league stage matches. They finished 5th in the points table, joining Afghanistan on points.
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