Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Shoaib Malik has expressed disappointment at the manner in which some middle-order batters threw their wickets away in the T20 World Cup 2022 match against India on Sunday, October 23.
Giving the example of how Virat Kohli batted for India, he lamented that Pakistan's batters did not pace their innings as per the demands of the situation.
Team India beat Pakistan by four wickets in a thrilling Super 12 encounter at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Sent in to bat after losing the toss, Pakistan were 91/2 in the 13th over. However, some poor shot selection from the middle order saw them stumble to 120/7. They eventually finished on 159/8.
While reflecting on the dismissals of Pakistan’s middle-order batters, Malik pointed to the manner in which Kohli planned the chase. Praising the Indian batter, he told A Sports:
“Look at Virat’s sixes. He was striking those at the end as if he is a power-hitter, which he is not. But the amount of balls he faced, he had an idea of what the bowlers were doing and how the pitch was behaving.”
The Pakistan all-rounder was particularly disappointed with the manner of Haider Ali’s dismissal, who was caught off Hardik Pandya while playing a cross-batted swat.
Claiming Haider fell into a trap, the 40-year-old elaborated:
“For the new batter, short midwicket was coming up a bit. It was their plan to bowl a particular length to him (Haider) and send midwicket back, where the catch was taken. At that point, strike rotation was the requirement. That way, you can understand the wicket and get an idea of what lengths the bowlers are bowling. You can get set that way.”
Haider was dismissed for two off four balls. His wicket left Pakistan in big trouble at 98/5.
“Others teams are watching” - Wasim Akram feels upcoming games could be tough for Pakistan batters
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram also hit out at Haider and Asif Ali for failing to improve their batting. Criticizing the duo for their lack of planning, Akram commented:
“Every team has a plan and then every cricketer also has an individual plan. There was a set batter in Shan Masood batting with him (Haider Ali). He could have rotated the strike for one over and then had a go.
"That’s a disappointment. Haider Ali has got talent, but fielding is also average and Asif Ali is struggling. A medium pacer bowled a bouncer and he didn’t know what to do."
The Pakistan legend added that other teams would have watched their dismissals against India and would plan accordingly. Akram elaborated:
“Others teams are watching this game. They have got the data analysis. They won’t bowl a fuller length to these guys. Speaking of the shot that Haider played, he had seen the kind of strokes Ifti (Iftikhar Ahmed) played and also saw how Shan was batting. But he played that cross-batted heave and came back.”
Chasing 160, India got home off the last ball courtesy of a brilliant knock by Kohli (82* off 53).