Ahead of the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, Pakistan had several issues in their team. They had a shock exit from the Asia Cup 2023 and most of their players weren’t in form. The world’s number 1 ODI batter, Babar Azam, wasn’t in good form and the spinners didn’t carry a lot of skill.
Post the first 2 games in their ICC ODI World Cup 2023 campaign, there were some positive signs in the team. Despite struggling against Netherlands and being skittled out by the Dutch bowlers, Babar Azam and co. managed to bowl well and win the game against an ordinary Netherlands side.
Against Sri Lanka, Pakistan completed a historic 345 run-chase and etched their names in the history books. But a 7-wicket loss against India on 14th October 2023, once again laid open, a lot of the underlying issues of the Pakistan team.
In this article, we take a look at 3 reasons why Pakistan might not qualify for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023:
1. Lack of quality spinners
Alongside Australia, Pakistan is another side, with a weak spin bowling department. The likes of Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz, haven’t been able to break the back of the opposition team, while bowling.
Both these bowlers have looked average in the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023 and these are troubling signs for the 1992 World Cup winners.
2. Overdependence on a few players
Pakistan have been over-reliant and over-dependent on Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam. Both these batters have been scoring the bulk of the runs for the Men in Green and the team is over-dependent on them.
This might make them win a few matches but in the longer run, this will bite them, like it did in the game versus India on 14th October 2023, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Pakistan had a shock collapse from being 155-2, to being 191 all-out. This sort of collapse triggers a lot of stress and anxiety in a team’s dressing room.
3. Absence of Naseem Shah
The absence of Pakistani speedster Naseem Shah has really made things worse for the Pakistan bowling department. He has been the partner-in-crime of Shaheen Shah Afridi in several matches and his void is being felt in the team.
Even though his replacement, Hasan Ali, has been bowling well and has bagged 7 wickets in the 3 matches, with an economy of 6.00, Shaheen hasn’t looked effective. Shaheen has always played well when there is pressure from one end.
And the lack of Naseem Shah means that there is lack of sufficient pressure on the opposition batting department.