Babar Azam criticizes fielding lapses, says players are absent-minded

Following a humbling defeat to Afghanistan in the 2023 World Cup at Chennai’s Chidambaram Stadium, Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, criticized his team’s lackluster fielding performance.

Afghanistan, buoyed by outstanding innings from Ibrahim Zadran (87), Rahmat Shah (77 not out), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (65), and captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (48 not out), successfully chased down Pakistan’s 283-run target, securing their second victory in the tournament.

In a post-match press conference, Babar attributed their third consecutive loss to subpar performances in both bowling and fielding. He expressed frustration with the lack of concentration among players during fielding and acknowledged that the team was disheartened by the day’s defeat. Babar also noted that the spinners failed to apply sufficient pressure on the Afghan batters during the middle overs.

Babar clarified that his captaincy responsibilities did not create additional pressure, and he maintained a clear distinction between his roles. He refuted claims that the team felt pressured after losing to India and stated that their game plans were not yielding the desired results.

While extending congratulations to Afghanistan for their historic victory, Babar expressed his commitment to winning the remaining matches of the World Cup.

On the other hand, the winning captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, was in high spirits and described the victory as deeply satisfying. He praised his team’s professional approach to the chase and conveyed confidence in their ability to replicate such performances in upcoming games. Shahidi highlighted that the team had carried over their confidence from their win against England and emphasized their dedication to playing positive cricket for their country.

With both Pakistan and Afghanistan securing two wins and suffering three losses in their five group games, they currently hold the fifth and sixth positions on the points table, respectively.

This victory marked Afghanistan’s first-ever win against Pakistan in their eight one-day internationals (ODIs) encounters, altering the score to 7-1 in favor of Afghanistan.

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