COLOMBO: Pakistan will take five days’ break from the World Cup during which time they plan to concentrate on their shortcomings rather than congratulate themselves on winning all three matches so far.
Pakistan’s next Group A game is against New Zealand at the newly built Pallekele Stadium in Kandy on March 8.
The big question for Pakistan emerging after the first two weeks of World Cup action is how long their skipper Shahid Afridi can deliver and win matches for them virtually alone.
Afridi has led his team from the front with 14 wickets, the highest haul so far in the competition, in wins of varying quality against Kenya, Sri Lanka and Canada.
The captain played down his stunning performances by saying, “I always focus on my bowling first. I try to work hard and I try my level best to keep my performance (in bowling).
“I just try bowling wicket to wicket and sometimes I got turn and sometimes the ball goes straight with a lot of chances for leg before. So I try to bowl wicket to wicket and make it simple,” he said.
The area Pakistan really needs to improve is their batting where their openers have failed to give them a proper start in any of the matches.
Although they have a wealth of talented players in their ranks their batting has been infuriatingly inconsistent.
Against Kenya and Sri Lanka they ran up impressive totals of 317-7 and 277-7 but against Canada they collapsed to 184 in 43 overs and it was only Afridi’s brilliance with the ball that saw them turn the game around in their favour by 46 runs.
“I must say that was a poor batting performance and poor shot selection,” said Afridi.
“I think if we want to play good cricket against good teams we should improve this. I must say it’s a good wake-up call for us,” he said.
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