Debacle in Asia Cup

PAKISTAN’S sputtering Asia Cup 2018 campaign came to an end on Wednesday following a chastening 37-run defeat at the hands of Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi. Overall it was a disappointing tournament for the Pakistani team as they failed to deliver with the bat and bowl and what to talk about the fielding as it has always remained a weak point of the national team.
The team managed to secure only one victory against Afghanistan but that too was a nail biting win whilst the matches with India also remained lopsided. The tournament has once again exposed the very inconsistency of our players who in fact have the habit of getting lost in the stardom after playing some impressive innings. One had not expected such a poor performance from Fakhar Zaman who was dubbed as the best find after Saeed Anwar as an opener. How did Afghanistan and Bangladesh put our players under pressure also raises many questions on the mental toughness required for the game at the international level. We have been stressing in these columns that the players need to be kept away from detractions and at the same time there should be special training sessions for them that focuses primarily on their mental toughness as to how they tackle the difficult situation. The national team has a number of important series ahead as it will take the ground against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and all these teams are better than they played against in the Asia Cup. Then most importantly, our eyes should be on the next world cup scheduled to be held next year in England. The Asia Cup has also exposed the very weakness of the national team that it really requires one or two strong middle order players who are not only strong hitter but are also consistent having the capability to play according to the situation. It is time for the PCB to focus on building domestic cricket on a sound and strong footing ensuring that replacements are always available, otherwise we will continue to see the debacle seen in the Asia Cup and humiliation at the hands of minnows.

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