What Can Pakistan Learn From Losses Against India?

Yet another mismatch has been added to a long list of forgettable matches for Pakistan as India, for the second time in the tournament, humiliated and overpowered the Pakistani side.

It remains a wonder how a team, which had been doing so well in limited-overs, can surrender so easily to their biggest rivals; some call it nerves while others chalk it to the difference of standards and quality between both sides.

Following the second loss to India yesterday in Asia Cup, Pakistan’s skipper took the center stage and made some extremely immature remarks while explaining the reasons for the loss.

Although there weren’t a lot of positives to take away from the losses against India but here are a few things which Pakistan need to rethink moving forward.

1) Micky Arthur’s Days Are Numbered

From a personal perspective, I have never been an admirer of foreign coaches and the main reason is that they are not accustomed to the culture of Pakistan’s cricket which makes a world of difference. The language is another very realistic concern that players have to deal with, which creates a communication barrier.

Under Micky Arthur, a lot of emphasis has been put on fitness and fielding. While the former has been arguably improved, the latter remains a concerning factor. Pakistan has already dropped 7 catches in Asia Cup — most of them being straight forwarded ones.

Imam-ul-Haq catch drops
Imam-ul-Haq drops Rohit Sharma off of Shaheen Shah Afridi. (Via TheFieldIn)

On the other hand, Micky’s focus has entirely been on the fitness, while major factors like bowling and batting continue to be neglected. The batsmen continue to make the same mistakes while bowlers keep following a defensive plan. The only impact coaching has had so far on players can be seen in Hasan Ali and Fakhar Zaman’s performance, who performed well until they weren’t coached into adopting a role that doesn’t suit them.


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Pakistan’s use of reviews has been dismal, most batsmen are making simple mistakes while running between the mistakes and bowlers seem to have forgotten how to bowl yorkers and bouncers when required.

All things put together, Micky Arthur is overstaying his welcome and there is no doubt about that. Likes of Javed Miandad, Majid Khan, Wasim Akram and Abdul Qadir are all available to fill out the necessary roles within the PCB management — all of them have played at the highest level, understand the game and can relate to Pakistan’s culture of cricket. So, why not?

When looking at foreign coaches, the Australian Dean Jones, the coach of Islamabad United, has always been a fan of Pakistan cricket and has openly admitted that he wants to coach the Pakistani side. His track record in the PSL is also a plus and he’s shown he can work with young Pakistani players like Shadab, Faheem and Asif.

2) Shaheen Afridi & Usman Shinwari Need to Start

It seemed like a fairytale when Mohammad Amir made his comeback after serving his ban but it is far from reality. The left-arm pacer has found it extremely difficult to settle back in the side. There has been a significant drop in Amir’s pace along with limited movement – swing and nip – which used to his x-factor.

With a decline in Aamir’s performance since his comeback and Hasan Ali’s overconfidence being his biggest enemy, Pakistan needs to shift things around and give more chances to Afridi and Shinwari, who are arguably the hungriest of all to prove a point.

Usman Khan Shinwari took wicket odi match sharjah uae
Pakistan’s Usman Khan Shinwari celebrates the dismissal of Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal during their forth ODI cricket match in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Shaheen Afridi made his debut against Afghanistan and despite best efforts from Pakistani fielders to ruin his big day by dropping 3 catches off his bowling, the young sensation still made an impact. Afridi reminds us of Mohammad Irfan due to his height but shows great promise with his swing and other varieties. Pairing him with Usman Shinwari, who has proven to be a workhorse, can be the way forward for Pakistan.

3) Free Fakhar Zaman!

Often times players are caught in the middle when they are asked to do the opposite of what they are used to doing; one such example would be Fakhar Zaman. Although the left-hander had a tremendous year, it did not reflect in both his performances against India.

Zaman’s natural ability to go after bowlers is what made him stand out and what seemed to be a cautious approach against India, hindered his performances. In many ways, Fakhar is a much-calculated version of Shahid Afridi, who also looked out of his comfort zone when asked to not play aggressive cricket.

Why can’t Fakhar be Pakistan’s David Warner or Chris Gayle? Allow him to play his natural game and groom him along the way to be more responsible.

4) Sarfraz — Makeshift Captain at Best

There is no denying that the Sarfraz fever is slowly but surely fading. What Pakistan has achieved under Sarfraz’s captaincy is an overachievement and it should not be forgotten as it can have devastating effects in the future.

Skippers are tasked to make tough choices, choices which often pay off. However, Sarfraz’s decisions are almost always on the safer side which often end up costing Pakistan in a neck-to-neck battle.

Some decisions may seem minute but they can prove to be either extremely costly or a stroke of genius at the end of the day. Decisions such as opening the bowling attack with Mohammad Nawaz, who is a T20 specialist bowler who has an abundance of experience when it comes to taking early wickets or perhaps decisions such as having a slip fielder for the opening 5-10 overs, where the ball edged multiple times off of Rohit Sharma and Dhawan both.

Pakistan could not have defended the relatively lower totals in both games without taking wickets and Pakistan were just not aggressive enough on both occasions.

Zarar is the Editor of Sports and Auto section and heads the Branded Content as well.


  • Tech Boy

    What Can Pakistan Learn From Losses Against India? Nothing

    • Rajesh Rao

      In general, Pakistan does not want to learn anything from India, so yes, it will learn nothing from this fiasco. Therefore, it will repeat.
      The larger issue though, that most people are not speaking about, is that in order to fix Pakistani cricket, you must fix Pakistan itself. And that is a huge ask. So on this score again, expect more of the same. The decline will continue, indeed accelerate.

  • Some Confidence level, miss communication level problem inside the team.
    They needs reality check & then win this series e.g. CT2017 Game

  • Pakistani team tattoo hai or tattoo hi rahaygi ye kuch nahi seekh saktay inko sirf paison se matlab hai izzat to aani jaani cheez hai, Pakistan ko 1 experienced mature Captain ki zaroorat hai like Misbah-Ul-Haq or Shoaib malik is the better option now adays, Sarfraz popla is a good wicket keeper but not a good captain,

    • Everyone is gone on time Misbah ka Time Khatam Malik is second option.
      SirFaraz is best Malik is experience person:
      Coach Want SirFaraz that’s it team ko le k Captain Chalta hai Aur Sahi Chal Raha hai
      ENG AUS Bhi Puri Seris Haaar Jati hai Not Means K Un K Captain Ghalat hai

      EveryOne Is Perfect need some confidence & attention on match not on amount.
      Need some reality check only

  • Muhammad Areeb

    1.Sarfaraz ko captain nai hona chahye balke team mei hi nai hona chahye sirf wicket keeper acha hai baqi na batting na captain acha hai kisi new bande ko lena chaheh jo wicket keeper k sath sath batting bhi sahi karta ho ,take India’s MS Dhoni as an example uss tarah ko koi banda lena chahye
    2.remove aamir and hassan and yes shinwari and afridi are perfect
    3.agreed coach should be changed
    4.players baqi theek hain bas coaching ki zaroorat hai

    • EveryOne Is Perfect need some confidence & attention on match not on amount.
      Need some reality check only

  • sailornepal7

    i think junaid khan has been token their for picnic he has better average against india then amir and other bowlers what he is doing outside

    • Yeah JK & Yasir is best in ODI in UAE (But INZI Nahi Chahta)
      Yasir Save Rakhna hai Injuried hai AUS Ki Series KI Wajh se

  • Ahtysham Afzal

    This is good for Pakistani cricket, now PCB will take action against nepotism and bring changes to the team.

    • EveryOne Is Perfect need some confidence & attention on match not on amount.
      India Bhi Series Hari hai Need some reality check only

  • nomi

    This team has no brain. They send Shadaab in last overs and send Asif Ali in 30s overs. Send AsiF ali only after 45. Send Shadaab then Nawaz then Asif. Also it was stupid to drop Hafeez who play good against spinners in UAE conditions and give you one extra spinner. Imam needs to be dropped. He cannot handle pressure of big teams and big matches. Need to bring Azfar Ali back as opener. Also try Shan Masood in next two matches.

  • nomi

    This team has no brain. They send Shadaab in last overs and send Asif Ali in 30s overs. Send AsiF ali only after 45. Send Shadaab then Nawaz then Asif. Also it was stupid to drop Hafeez who play good against spinners in UAE conditions and give you one extra spinner. Imam needs to be dropped. He cannot handle pressure of big teams and big matches. Need to bring Azfar Ali back as opener. Also try Shan Masood in next two matches.

    • nomi

      I would like to put kamran akmal in place of Imam.

  • Awein Munda

    Well written article.

  • Shoaib

    oh bhai koi expert nahi ho zakham par namak na phenko

  • Rajesh Rao

    On Mickey Arthur, totally agreed. He should leave before some Pakistani makes a Bob Woolmer out of him.