Virender Sehwag questions Pakistan's T20 future after Ireland scare: 'Babar and Co. have to think of the way forward' | Crickit

Virender Sehwag questions Pakistan's T20 future after Ireland scare: 'Babar and Co. have to think of the way forward'

Jun 17, 2024 08:27 AM IST

Pakistan took nearly 19 overs to chase down a target of 107.

Pakistan ended their 2024 T20 World Cup journey with a three-wicket win over Ireland. While it was a victorious end to a rather forgettable campaign for the 2009 champions, Pakistan took nearly 19 overs to chase down a meagre target of 107 in Lauderhill. Ireland batted first and were reduced to a score of 32/6 in the seventh over. Gareth Delany and Josh Little then managed to get Ireland into three figures. Their last wicket partnership of Little and Ben While managed to survive six overs and Ireland got to a score of 106/9.

Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi finished the chase against Ireland. (PTI)
Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi finished the chase against Ireland. (PTI)

Captain Babar Azam then anchored the chase with an unbeaten 32 in 34 balls as Pakistan got to 111/7 in 18.5 overs. “We didn't think that (Ireland) would reach 106 runs and we also didn't think that Pakistan would take 19 overs to chase that down,” said former India batter Virender Sehwag on Cricbuzz.

“What have Pakistan done here, I don't get it. Yes, they won but first they let them go from 32/6 to 106 and then it wasn't like it was a very difficult wicket or that Ireland's bowling was so good that you had to play so carefully in the chase.”

‘This team may not be able to win even on a good wicket’

Pakistan's campaign never really got underway. They started with a stunning loss to co-hosts USA in a match that went all the way to the Super Over. Pakistan were then seemingly ahead for much of their chase in their next game against arch-rivals India but went on to lose by six runs. They were then eliminated after USA's match against Ireland was washed out.

Sehwag said that problems inside the the dressing room does lead to poor performances in the field, although he admitted that he is unaware of any such problems within their squad. "This is why we call them unpredictable, you can never if they will play well or poorly. In this World Cup they have been poor more often. I don't know what their dressing room is like. If things are fine between the players. That also plays a role.

“If there are players who are unhappy with the captain or if there are two or three groups within the dressing room and so on, that also plays a role, but I say you have to keep those things to the side and think for Pakistan. This match shouldn't have gone on for so long. But fine, at least they won it,” said Sehwag.

‘Give someone enough time’

Sehwag said that Pakistan need to find batters who can play at a good strike rate, as opposed to more batters who tend to anchor innings the way Babar and Mohammad Rizwan do. “Now Babar Azam and the others have to go back and think about what the way forward is in the T20 format. This team may not be able to win matches against a good team even when they get a good wicket,” he said.

“They have to play differently from the way that Babar Azam plays if they want to play in the next T20 World Cup, that is for sure. There are a few players who play with the same strike rate which is not good enough for T20. They have to find those players with high strike rates, whether it be from the PSL or domestic cricket. And those players have to be given chances. It's not like Babar became the player he is today on his first day itself, he also took time to give consistent performances. So they have to give someone enough time,” said Sehwag.

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