When will Pakistan get serious about winning?

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Their T20 World Cup 2024 has contained signs of rot and a hollow win over Canada cannot mask that Danyal Rasool 11-Jun-2024 • 3 hrs ago 1:15 Do Pakistan need to improve their batting approach despite beating Canada?
Pakistan needed a handful to win and there was plenty of time to do it in.
At times, this appeared an extension of the tortured chase Pakistan bungled against India.
Or, perhaps, if your favourite player had been selected instead of the one you believe is a #fraud, Pakistan might find themselves in a different position.
If only Pakistan had nine rather than seven men on the selection committee, or four team managers rather than the paltry two they sent with the squad.
And so, on the day, Pakistan made sure they took one step closer to yet another shot at salvation.
There was none of the flair the Pakistan of yore seemed to have trademarked, but they know their progress depends on sunshine in Miami, not their strike rate in New York.
It might end up being a hollow win that only scratches the surface.

NEGATIVE

Their T20 World Cup 2024 victory over Canada cannot disguise the rot that has been evident in the team.

Rashool Danyal.

11 June 2024, three hours ago.

1:15.

Even though Pakistan defeated Canada, does their batting strategy still need to be improved?

The two security officers were standing there aimlessly chatting. They hadn’t anticipated the growing annoyance of Mohammad Rizwan, but Rizwan is probably the best person to teach others how frustrating it is when someone holds up a game. However, the guards continued their conversation, seemingly unaware of their location. Since this was essentially a placeholder game disguised as a cricket match, it was difficult to hold them responsible.

And it was somewhat of a laborious one. It was so much that some of the stadium’s patrons decided to shoo the guards away because they could stand the delay no longer. Nevertheless, the guards didn’t leave until someone with more authority and a more polished uniform approached.

Now at last the game could continue. In any case, it was coming to an end. Pakistan had plenty of time to win, just a few more points than necessary. In the end, Rizwan would finish unbeaten at 53 off 53 deliveries, scraping his way to his half-century. He had just been dismissed for 33 off 33 balls by Babar Azam, with whom he had shared a partnership of 63 runs off 62 balls. It’s hard to think of a more fitting way for “RizBar” to end an era if this is it.

connected.

Death, taxes, and Rizbar: Pakistan reopens the debate.

Everyone can see how uncertain and self-conscious Pakistan is.

Time-honored argument, easy solution: Pakistan’s batting is simply subpar.

With Amir leading the quicks to a spectacular display, Rizwan leads Pakistan to their first victory.

Anyone who arrived in Nassau County expecting a battered Pakistan to win a statement match saw Pakistan instead serve up another example of the clumsy formula this team has been fixated on honing. The bowling was far too good for a Canada team that did well to scrape to 106; it was inconsistent and fiery at the same time. Pakistan took as long as possible to deliver the most bare minimum of satisfactory performance, approaching the pursuit with the eagerness of a public servant tending to a constituent.

While there is reason for Pakistan to be upset about a New York surface that appears to take offense at run-scoring personally, Babar’s team has never required additional encouragement to control themselves. They scraped to a below-average 159 on a far more productive surface in Dallas and were eventually defeated in the Super Over. Occasionally, it seemed like a continuation of the torturous pursuit that Pakistan mishandled towards India. However, the margins against Pakistan two days earlier turned out to be in their favour, albeit with slightly different circumstances, a slightly less formidable bowling unit, and a slightly smaller target.

Back at the top of the order was Saim Ayub, who always seems to be boomeranged into the side whenever the PCB senses that the pressure on Babar and Rizwan is building and then quickly back out again when it lessens. He was not going to find his form on this surface after being out of it lately. He was dismissed for a 12-ball 6, trying a heave that would have likely been out of Rawalpindi if this had been the PSL. But this isn’t the PSL, as Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Haris, Haider Ali, and Azam Khan have all found out. And for some strange reason, other teams seem to be able to duplicate that success when they elevate players with high intentions who have performed well in T20 leagues across the globe. However, selecting a hitter for a Pakistani team is similar to Manchester United selecting a new manager in that the player may have been outstanding prior to joining, but they are no longer for some reason.

The players could all be overpaid and worthless. Alternately, Pakistan might be in a different situation if your favorite player had been chosen rather than the one you think is a fraud. Perhaps if they displayed a little more overt patriotism and gave the badge a few kisses, that would help. Maybe a different captain could have figured out the riddle. If only Pakistan had sent four team managers instead of the pitiful two they sent with the squad, or nine men instead of seven on the selection committee. Alternatively, if the chief data analyst had previously served as a minister of works and housing rather than forestry and fisheries.

Or perhaps it is simply the case that the PCB has never taken cricket seriously, in which case it should come as no surprise that it frequently produces teams that are fundamentally uninterested in contending for the biggest titles. If Thisara Perera hadn’t dropped a sitter or Roelof van der Merwe hadn’t taken a stunner, their last two ICC finals would not have taken place. That lamp can only be rubbed for so long before even the genie starts to feel like they’re being taken advantage of.

Still, those miracles have a higher chance of happening than systemic change. Pakistan ensured that they moved one step closer to another opportunity at salvation on that particular day. The Pakistan of the past appeared to have trademarked flair, but they are aware that sunshine in Miami, not strike rate in New York, is what drives their progress. Maybe it’s just a surface-level victory, nothing more. And that could be a fitting metaphor for the adjustments that will probably come about after they finish this tournament.

Sportsmail’s correspondent in Pakistan is Danyal Rasool. @Danny61000.

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