Pakistan vs Australia 2019: 3 things that went wrong for Pakistan in the ODI series
With just months to go until the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, each of the ten teams are desperate to find their best players and have them performing to the best of their abilities.
This 5-match ODI series between Australia and Pakistan was a chance for both sides to tinker with their lineups, as well as give match practice to those who were looking to solidify their spot in the prestigious 15-man World Cup squad.
Pakistan were coming off a disappointing outing against South Africa, having lost the T20I series 2-1. With Sarfraz Ahmed, along with Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Hasan Ali, rested for the Australia sojourn, Pakistan looked like underdogs on paper.
Australia, meanwhile, were riding a wave of momentum after a fantastic 3-2 series win against India, with Usman Khawaja making his mark in ODIs. With the opening spot up for grabs, Khawaja did his part and nailed his first 2 ODI centuries, coming at a brilliant rate on foreign soil.
Australia opted not to add Steve Smith and David Warner to their squad vs. Pakistan and also rested Mitchell Starc. However, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner and Alex Carey were all keen to continue pushing their case to be included in Australia's World Cup squad.
Not a lot went right for Pakistan in their ODI series against Australia, in which they were whitewashed 5-0 by the tourists. The fielding was poor, the batting listless, and the bowling toothless.
It was, overall, a lethargic performance from the men in green. While Australia walk away from the series with plenty of positives and 8 ODI wins on the trot, we take a look at 3 things that went wrong for the hosts.
#1 Lack of Power-Hitting
A problem that has persisted with the Pakistan side again reared its ugly head. With Asif Ali, a powerful batsman who can hit sixes with ease, left out of the squad, Pakistan faced a dearth of power-hitters.
While the team had multiple foundations set due to centuries by Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Sohail, and Abid Ali, they were unable to capitalize on them. While Glenn Maxwell could accelerate the scoring after Finch and Khawaja set the groundwork, Pakistan had no suitable response of their own. New batsmen would get out attempting to up the run rate, resulting in sub-par totals.
For Pakistan to capitalize on their starts and put up formidable totals, they desperately need to have batsmen who can hit from ball one. Asif Ali, who performed this job well, was mysteriously left out of the squad. This forced proper batsmen like Imad Wasim and Umar Akmal to play a game they are not suited to.