Pakistan’s decline in ODI cricket since the last few years has been among the saddest tales of the game. The south Asian side was once an ODI powerhouse, as they gave even the best of sides a run for their money. Their batting was on point but it has traditionally been their bowling that has been the stronger trait.
But the most vital aspect, which made Pakistan successful was the aggression displayed by their star players. Aggression, in any form of the game, is crucial and in the years gone by, Pakistan had plenty of that. However, the current outfit, led by Azhar Ali, is far from an attacking unit. Rather, this is a side which fails to express itself freely. After being humiliated by England 4-0, bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has asked his side to show more aggression in the final ODI.
“It’s been a disappointing time for us, but there are still a lot of positives,’ Azhar said. “The way we bowled at Nottingham wasn’t good enough.” ‘We are going to make mistakes. As long as we learn from them, we hope we can turn the tables around. “What happened in the past you can’t change, but we can learn from our mistakes and move on,” he said.
The former all-rounder said that Pakistan could emulate England’s example to excel in ODI’s. “From where England were 18 months ago they changed the mentality and we have to do the same thing.” “We need a little bit more aggression, a bit more positive intent. “We’ve got young players who can change things, but it will take time,” Azhar added.
“They’ve got players like Jason Roy – he can change the game in no time – Eoin Morgan himself, Jos Buttler,” he said. “They’ve got a good unit of young players who understand the game and can play big shots and rotate the strike really well. “Where we are lacking as a batting unit we are not rotating the strike and we don’t have the guys who can clear the ropes. ‘We need to find those guys very quickly if we want to improve in one-day cricket,” Mahmood added, about England’s turnaround in ODI’s.