What Went Wrong for Pakistan Against India in Asia Cup [Analysis]

Pakistan lost to arch-rivals India in an agonizing fashion in a high-octane clash in the 2022 Asia Cup. The Men in Green were unable to get going as they were put into bat first. They later made a sensational comeback with the ball as they almost pulled off an amazing win. At the end of the day, Pakistan were unable to secure a win and most of it was down to their own faults rather than being outplayed by the opposition.

The Green Shirts made some crucial mistakes throughout the match which eventually led to their downfall and if they had managed to hold their nerve and play to their strengths, the outcome of the match would have certainly been in their favor.

Let’s have a look at some of the reasons that led to Pakistan’s loss in the match:

Batting Order

Pakistan’s conservative approach and failure to innovate with the batting line-up affected the proceedings early on in the match. The Men in Green looked timid in their approach and failed to take initiative which resulted in 20-25 runs short.

While Babar and Rizwan have been sensational as openers in the shortest format of the game, their early departure exposes the brittle batting of the team. Star all-rounder, Shadab Khan, who has proved himself with the bat in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) should be utilized up the order if the situation demands and he could have been the difference maker in the match if he was sent above either Iftikhar Ahmed or Khushdil Shah.

Shadab’s low-risk wicket could have been ideal in the situation even if he failed to perform. If he had managed to take the attack to the Indian bowlers for a few overs, Pakistan’s total would have been bigger and even if he failed, Pakistan still had Iftikhar, Khushdil, and Asif Ali to come in.

In comparison, India looked at the situation of the game and sent all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja, up the order, realizing that Pakistan do not possess a potent off-spinner who could trouble the left-hander. Jadeja’s magnificent innings was the difference between the two teams ultimately.

Failure to Assess the Pitch

Pakistan’s failure to read the pitch conditions on offer also cost them dearly. Prior to the start of the match, the experts stated that 180 would be a good total on the pitch but the conditions portrayed a different picture. If Pakistan kept 160 as an ideal target, it shouldn’t have been a problem.

The batters were stuck in a rut after a slow start and went to look for boundaries instead of playing it safe and keeping the scoreboard ticking. Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, and Mohammad Nawaz, all capable batters in their own right, went to hit big in order to provide the impetus to the scoreboard but failed on a tricky pitch.

If the team played to their strengths and looked to reach at least 160, then the result might have been different.


Players’ fitness was a major cause of concern for Pakistan as the bowlers cramped up during crucial stages of the match. Wicket-keeper, Mohammad Rizwan, was the first one to feel the fatigue and fast bowlers, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, followed suit.

The Men in Green have been used to hot conditions in the UAE and cramping up in a high-pressure game should not be a cause of concern for these elite athletes. Ultimately, it was the fitness that hurt Pakistan as the bowlers failed to give their 100% at the end.

Rizwan was seemingly struggling as well and let a few extras go by which could have been contained. Rizwan’s poor glove work coupled with Rauf’s inconsistent line and length at the death allowed the Indian batters to relieve the pressure and ultimately clinch the victory.

Poor Tactics

Pakistan’s failure to adapt to the situation and pay heed to the ‘match-ups’ was a real cause of concern. While India decided to send in a left-hander to disrupt the Pakistan bowling unit, the Men in Green failed to respond. Babar’s decision to not try Iftikhar Ahmed’s off-spin for even an over during the middle phase of the innings was a baffling decision.

While the decision might not have paid off but still an effort should have been made to counterattack India. Slandering Babar for his captaincy decision might also be wrong because taking such huge risks in a high-octane clash, knowing that it might backfire, is a huge call in itself.

Slow Over Rate

The Green Shirts were also forced to bowl with one extra fielder inside the circle from the 17th over onwards due to their slow over rate. Talking about slow over rate, while mishaps happened due to numerous breaks because of injuries to several players, the captain should have kept the bowlers in check. This might be clutching at straws but Iftikhar or Khushdil could have been utilized during the middle phase to avoid the penalty.

Nevertheless, the players should be proud of the way they fought until the end as they almost clinched victory from the jaws of defeat. Pakistan will be out for revenge and will be eyeing to qualify for the Super 4s and face India once again in the next round. Next time though, the think-tank should be looking to play to their strengths and exploit the weaknesses of the opposition.

What do you think? What was the reason behind Pakistan’s loss? Write down your suggestions in the comments section!

Published by
Saad Nasir