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Pakistan assistant coach Azhar Mahmood (Photo: ICC)
"Selection of shots at wrong time": Azhar Mahmood on Pakistan's batting collapse against India
Pakistan assistant coach Azhar Mahmood (Photo: ICC)

New York [US], June 11 (ANI): Ahead of their all-important clash against Canada in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, Pakistan assistant coach Azhar Mahmood revealed that it was shot selection at the wrong time cost them the game against India. In their third group stage encounter, Pakistan is set to lock horns against Canada in a must-win game at the Nassau International Cricket Stadium in New York on Tuesday.

"After 12 overs we were 72 for 2. We needed 48 runs of 48 balls. We had eight wickets in our hands. I can't tell you anything about the decision-making or shot selection. I think it was the selection of shots and playing those shots at the wrong time. I'm not saying the shot was not on," Mahmood said in the pre-match press conference.

The coach further stated that the shots were executed at the wrong time against the wrong choice of bowlers.

"The shot was on, but not at the right time or the right choice of bowlers. I'm not going to name here, but you know, it is what it is. You have to play according to the situation in front of you. Because if the average of six runs goes up to 10 runs, or if it goes up to 18 runs, then this was our concern - like before," the former all-rounder added.

Speaking about Canada, the former right-arm seamer said that they have such players who can score runs so we can't take them for granted.

"We haven't decided the team yet. As far as Canada is concerned, if you look at the first match, they scored 194 - against America. They have such players who can score runs. So, we shouldn't take anything for granted. We can't do anything now. We have to win the match in any case," the coach said.

Mahmood concluded by saying that fear of failure is part of the game but all 15 players can't be having that fear.

"Fear of failure is part of the game. It's obvious. Expectations are so high and then you have to perform. So, it's possible that one or two players will have a fear of failure, but again, it's not possible that all 15 players will be having that fear. There is no such thing," the 49-year-old said.

For every nail-biter and underdog winner, there's a loser who faces the consequences - and that's been Pakistan's reality so far. With two losses to start their campaign, the Asian powerhouse must beat Canada and then Ireland, while also flipping around their -0.150 net run rate in the process, and hope the USA loses their remaining matches.

The Men in Green should defeat Canada and Ireland by a big margin so that they can improve their net run rate.

Pakistan will qualify if India wins their next two games against the USA and Canada, and the USA lose their remaining matches.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan. (ANI)

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