Following loss to India, Pakistan coach Kirsten admits team took excessive pressure during run-chase

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By Mahtab Ahmad

New York [US], : Following his side’s six-run loss to India in their ICC T20 World Cup match, Pakistan head coach Gary Kirsten admitted that the team put more pressure on themselves than they should have had and it was fun having a low-scoring thriller being played out in a format that is mostly about fours and sixes.

Following loss to India, Pakistan coach Kirsten admits team took excessive pressure during run-chase
Following loss to India, Pakistan coach Kirsten admits team took excessive pressure during run-chase

Jasprit Bumrah’s miserly three-wicket haul which applied pressure on Pakistan batters and a counter-attacking, match-saving knock by Rishabh Pant powered India to a narrow win at a packed Nassau County Stadium which keeps India’s World Cup dreams alive with two more group stage games to go.

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Speaking about the performance after the game in a post-match press conference, Kirsten said, “Pretty much spot-on . These guys are all international players and they are aware that when they are not performing at their best there is going to be pressure put on them. That is understandable, but a lot of these guys have played a lot of T20 cricket around the world over many, many years and it is really up to them to decide how they are going to take their games forward.”

On the playing surface at Nassau County Stadium, Kirsten said that it was not dangerous by any stretch except an odd ball rising sharply.

“It generally kept a little bit lower. I think we were able to score for both batting sides and also a fairly slow outfield, so it was never going to be a big total. I would have said 140 would have been a really good score on that pitch. So, India did not get that so I thought we had the game. We knew it was going to be tight but sometimes it is fun seeing games like that as well. It is not always about sixes and hitting, getting 230s and 240s. You can actually have a really entertaining game on a 120 chase. So, I do not think it is bad for the game,” he added.

Kirsten said that the message to the team while chasing was to look for an odd boundary, punish the loose deliveries and rotate the strike well.

“We kept it at a run a ball, and then we lost wickets and then we stopped scoring ones and then we were looking for boundaries and once you have got to that point it was always going to be hard. So, the message was to do what we executed on for 15 overs,” he added.

The coach said that on a surface like this, it is important to rotate the strike well.

“So, I agree with you that sometimes it is fun to watch a game like this where it is not only about hitting boundaries, but you also have to be able to use 120 balls really well. As I said, we did for 15 overs and then we lost the plot,” he added.

Kirsten expressed his happiness with the bowlers, saying that the team is among the best bowling units during overs 10 to 20. The coach admitted that currently, the team is losing too much wickets.

“We have got four fantastic seamers and Imad Wasim I thought bowled really well today as well. So, we have got some nice options on the ball with the team and I think we are going to be a difficult team to bat against if we bowl like that. So that is a positive going forward. Obviously, there is a concern around how we can put our innings together and structure it,” he said.

“We did really nicely in the last game against the USA where Shadab Khan and Babar put on a partnership of 70 when we were 26 for 3. But period, we are losing too many wickets. As a batting unit, you cannot lose as many wickets as we are losing. Players have got to take responsibility when that opportunity comes,” he added.

Coming to the match, Pakistan won the toss and put India to bat first. However, the Indian batters did not get things going for them at this tough surface as star openers Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma failed to score big. Rishabh Pant seemed to be playing on a different pitch and had useful partnerships with Axar Patel and Suryakumar Yadav . However, the lower middle order crumbled under the pressure of scoring runs on such a tough pitch and India could make just 119 in 19 overs.

Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah were the top bowlers for Pakistan. Mohammed Amir got two scalps while Shaheen Shah Afridi got one.

In the run-chase, Pakistan took a more measured approach and Mohammed Rizwan held one end steady. However, Bumrah and Hardik Pandya got crucial wickets of skipper Babar Azam , Fakhar Zaman , Shadab Khan ,

Iftikhar Ahmed as well, which kept the pressure intact on Pakistan. With 18 runs needed in final over, Naseem Shah tried to win it for Pakistan, however, Arshdeep Singh made sure Pakistan fell short by six runs.

Bumrah secured the ‘Player of the Match’ for his match-winning spell.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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