World Cup 2019: Where is the issue in Pakistan's batting line-up?
To acclimatize with the conditions of England, Pakistan scheduled the series in England before the World Cup and reached England a month before the World Cup 2019. However, they lost the ODI series against England. In three out of the four matches, the target for the chasing side was above 350.
England was successful in chasing the targets. On the other side, Pakistan struggled to chase, courtesy of the top order and middle order failing to convert positive starts that they have made to their inning.
The top order, on most occasions, gives a solid start. However, the issue is with the last 10 overs where Pakistan fail to add crucial runs that has a massive impact on the final score. It looks like that the same issue is unresolved yet as it has continued in the World Cup as well.
In the third ODI against England, Pakistan made 358/9, which England chased it easily with five overs left. In that match, Pakistan lost five wickets in the last powerplay. Further, in the fourth ODI, batting first, Pakistan made 340/7 and yet lost four wickets in the last 10 overs.
However, against England in their World Cup clash, Pakistan managed to restrict England and clinched a 14-run victory. Yet, what was important to note is that even though Pakistan made 348/8, they lost five wickets between overs 41-50.
The pressing issue is the fact that Pakistan lose too many wickets in the final 10 overs that results in less runs scored in those crucial death overs. The other issue is their middle order batsmen get out at a crucial time without scoring many runs, which restricts them to put more runs on the board.
Batsmen like Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik have failed to impress with their batting in this tournament. Pakistan has lost two matches from their four games in this tournament thus far. Their next match is against India where they would want to solve this issue.
Therefore, the focus in the upcoming game between India and Pakistan will be the battle between India's bowling attack versus Pakistan's middle order. If the Men in Green are to challenge Virat Kohli's men for a win from the game, they will need to sort out their middle order woes.
Also read - Lowest team total in world cup