Azhar Mahmood- Photo- Twitter
Azhar Mahmood- Photo- Twitter

Pakistan’s assistant coach, Azhar Mahmood, discussed the team’s low morale following their T20 World Cup loss to India in New York.

Pakistan’s start to its T20 World Cup 2024 has been very poor. They began with a loss to the USA in the super over, but their biggest morale-breaking loss came to India.

Babar Azam and Co. rebounded strongly against India, winning the toss in cloudy conditions in New York and opting to bowl first. Haris Rauf took three wickets, and Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Amir tore through India’s batting lineup, bundling them for 119 runs. Only Rishabh Pant (42) and Axar Patel (20) were able to endure superb bowling.

Pakistan was in command, needing only 48 runs in 48 balls, with eight wickets in hand and Mohammad Rizwan at the crease. However, he was dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah for a weak shot, and Indian bowlers stifled the rest of Pakistan’s batting to hold the score at 113/7 and win by 6 runs.

During a news conference on Monday, Mahmood stated that the squad is particularly upset by the loss to India, but emphasized the importance of boosting morale, adding that they still have a chance to recover.

“After two defeats, everyone is quite disheartened. Losing against India is more disappointing than a defeat against the USA. At the moment, everyone’s morale in the team is down, it’s necessary to lift it as we can still bounce back and we won’t lose hope until it’s over,” he said at the presser.

Pakistan will next play Canada on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in a must-win game.

“There’s no room for misunderstandings”- Azhar Mahmood on Pakistan team ahead of Canada match

Mahmood blamed the defeat on poor shot selection, adding that the team’s run rate dropped dramatically after the 15th over. He emphasized that the loss was a collaborative failure, with both players and management bearing blame.

“Our shot selection wasn’t right, which led to a run rate of 10. We were playing well until the 15th over. We lost as a team and can’t blame individuals. The responsibility of failure lies with the entire management, we all have made mistakes,” he added.

Mahmood highlighted the importance of confidence, stating that doubting one’s abilities can be detrimental. He also warned against underestimating Canada, stating anyone who does has no place in international cricket.

“If a player starts doubting their ability, it becomes very difficult. If we play with confidence in ourselves, it will prove everyone wrong.

Now there’s no room for misunderstandings. If someone considers any opponent easy, they don’t have a place in international cricket. There are players in Canada who can perform against us. We have to win this match at all costs now,” he concluded.

Pakistan must win their next matches against Canada on June 11 and Ireland on June 16 and hope the USA loses to India and Ireland.

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2024: Waqar Younis Slammed Pakistan For Poor Batting In The First 10 Overs