top of page

T20 World Cup 2024: Reasons why Pakistan made a first round exit

T20 World Cup 2024: Top Reasons why Pakistan is out in the first round. Pakistan's loss to USA turned things around.


T20 World Cup 2024: Top Reasons why Pakistan is out in the first round. Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©ICC_X)
Pakistan's loss to USA turned things around (Photo: ©ICC/X)

Pakistan, one of the favourites for the T20 World Cup 2024, have been knocked out of the tournament after the match between USA and Ireland was washed out. Pakistan lost two crucial matches against USA and India. They then had to stare at an early exit from the tournament. The washed-out tie between USA and Ireland ended all hopes for Pakistan. So, what troubled Pakistan in the 2024 World T20 that they had to take an early flight back home?


Lack of application in all departments, especially batting

Pakistan didn’t look the part in the 2024 World T20 and lacked application in all departments. They were reckless in their bowling and fielding against USA. They first allowed the opposition to tie the game when some smart death-bowling in the last over could have won the match for them. In the Super Over, they conceded extras and wides. USA, thus, set up a difficult chase of 18 runs. 


In the clash against India, they lost the match from the jaws of victory as their batting disintegrated in the last few overs of the match. In the third clash against Canada, they huffed and puffed their way to chase 107 in the 18th over when the task was to finish the game quickly and improve their net run-rate. 


Overall, their batting style seemed outdated as they adopted old tactics of accumulation in the fast-evolving T20 cricket. The openers – Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan – batted at a strike rate of run-a-ball. Although the pitches were difficult to bat on, the Rizwan-Babar duo didn’t show any urgency to accumulate quick runs to give the team a robust start. The batters who followed adopted a similar approach as they struggled to shrug off the defensive mindset. 


Pakistan coach Gary Kirsten gave a clear warning to Pakistan players that they need to improve their game or be left behind. “The game is changing pretty much every year. So, if you're not up to it and you're not improving, you're going to get found out somewhere,” he said.


Pakistan’s batting and their lack of application have been exposed in this tournament. They need strategic planning to rectify the same to become a formidable force in the modern-day T20 cricket.


CWC 2023, India vs Pakistan_ Babar Azam-Mohammad Rizwan add 86-run for 3rd wicket against India _ Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©therealpcb_Twitter)
Rizwan and Babar both failed at top of the order (Photo: ©therealpcb/Twitter)
Over reliant on old warhorses 

When India dismissed opener Rizwan, who was guiding Pakistan to victory, it gave the ‘Men in Blue’ the belief that they could make a comeback and win the game from that situation. Pakistan’s over-reliance on Rizwan and his dismissal broke the back of the chase as India made the best of the little window of opportunity. 


Besides, Pakistan are also highly dependent on Babar Azam to do the bulk of the scoring while others bat around him and Rizwan. This dependency on old warhorses has been a recipe for disaster as once Babar and Rizwan are back to the pavilion, Pakistan struggle to finish off games or put up winning totals. It’s time for Pakistan youngsters to shoulder some responsibility. 


Also, Pakistan’s opening pair’s slow starts put pressure on the other batters to accelerate right from the outset without settling down or seeing off a few balls. And hence, the middle-order are guilty of throwing their wickets away in a bid to wrest the momentum. The problem starts from the top-order and unless Pakistan change their batting approach, they would continue to struggle. 


“Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan can't be opening together. Both of them were not really keen to strike early,” commentator Sanjay Manjrekar opined on Pakistan’s problems at the top.



Captaincy

Pakistan’s captaincy has been a case of musical chairs in the shortest format. They started the year with Shaheen Shah Afridi as skipper before handing the captaincy back to Babar Azam. The lack of clarity in leadership has not helped the team as they have lacked direction for most part. It is noticeable that not all is well in the leadership structure when Rizwan took a review directly without even consulting his captain. 


Besides, Babar’s captaincy does not inspire confidence or is not even suited for the shortest format of the game. He let the games drift during their defence against USA as the opposition posted a brilliant comeback to tie the match. In the super over, he failed to control the generosity of his bowler Mohammad Amir and his fielders in giving away wides and extras that eventually cost them the match. The modern-day T20 cricket needs dynamic captaincy where instinctive decisions can be made or gambles be taken to outwit the opposition. The old-style captaincy is not suited in this format. Babar Azam has been found wanting in his captaincy duties. 


The way ahead

Pakistan need an overhaul of not only their batting and bowling approaches but also the captaincy hat to match the dynamic demands of T20 cricket. If some tough decisions need to be taken to phase out seniors who do not reinvent their game, so be it. If a new captain is needed to bring in a fresh approach or young legs to bring in competitiveness, Pakistan should not shy away from taking such tough calls to reinvent their T20 cricket.


Comments


bottom of page