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Saturday, July 20, 2024

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 – Gary Kirsten bemoans Pakistan’s ‘poor decision-making’


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Pakistan coach Gary Kirsten has put the team’s defeat down to poor decision-making, after they had “the game for 35 of 40 overs”, while Jasprit Bumrah commended the calmness shown by India’s bowling unit even though the conditions eased out for batting.

“Disappointing loss, that’s for sure,” Kirsten said. “I knew 120 was not going to be an easy target. If India got only 120, it was always going to be not the easiest. But I think we had the game at 72 for 2 with six or seven overs left. Disappointing not to get across the line from the position we got ourselves into.”

Kirsten was asked where the game slipped from their hands. “Decision-making,” he said. “Maybe not so great decision making. You have got the game on, run a ball, eight wickets in hand, decision making at that point. That’s the game. That’s international cricket for you. You make mistakes like that, you are going to pay. I thought we made some poor decisions at important phases of the game. I thought Rizwan played well for us. We knew it was going to be a tough wicket to bat on. We managed the chase very well but then just let it slip in the end.”

Mohammad Rizwan scored 31 off 44 but fell trying to slog the first ball of a new Bumrah spell. Bumrah went on to win his second Player-of-the-Match award in two matches.

“The biggest positive for us was the calmness because when we were batting in the morning, there was a lot more help,” Bumrah said. “And when we started bowling, the skies cleared up and the ball stopped seaming and there wasn’t a lot of lateral movement. So, we had to be more consistent and more accurate and we as a unit were very calm and very clear on what we wanted to do. So, we are very happy that as a unit we were able to contribute and created that pressure and then we were able to get the win.”

Bumrah said taking the emotion out of his bowling helps him.

“I was trying to focus on what is the best option over here on a wicket like this,” he said. “How do I make shot-making difficult? What are the best options for me? So that way, I try to stay in the present and focus on what I have to do. Because if I look at the outside noise, if I look at people and pressure and emotion takes over, then things don’t really work for me. So, I was trying to do that, trying to create my own bubble, and trying to focus on that and try to put my best foot forward.”

Kirsten knows Pakistan’s chances of making it to the Super Eight now rely on other teams’ results, but he also knows they need to improve a lot to even rely on other teams to push them through.

“It wasn’t a small total on that wicket,” Kirsten said. “It was a good total. We knew that. But we have still got a chance in this tournament. We are still hopeful that things can play into our hands. Obviously we have got to play a lot better cricket than we are playing. It just comes down to executing our skills together as batters and bowlers. We had that game for 35 of the 40 overs. We played good cricket, we did everything we needed to.”

Kirsten said he needed some time to start getting the best out of the players. “Everyone’s responsible,” he said. “We accept the loss and we take the heat because the team has not done well. And we will do what we can to try and rectify it. I have been here for 12 days so it is a new journey for me understanding the players that are going to win games for Pakistan, which is what you are looking for.”


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