After facing two humiliating losses from India and West Indies, Pakistan has faced a lot of criticism from cricket pundits and the wrath of Pakistani supporters back home. Effigies of players were burned and an emotionally charged Shoaib Akhtar slammed Pakistan cricket players and the supporting staff. Pakistani captain Misbah Ul Haq has finally broken the silence on the criticism faced by the team. Ahead of their important clash against Zimbabwe, a disappointed Misbah said “We used to say that we are with the team all the time, but we never do it. You could say it’s always like that in Pakistan. We are always with the winning team, but when our team is in difficult times, we’re here. But the real supporters, you could say, supporters, they are there. They’ve got belief in the team, still supporting the team, so that’s what we need.”
When asked about the losses, he said that their team fell behind as soon as their opponents got on top. “You can say that the team has been under pressure the last two games, big games,” he said. “Both of the teams really locked us down in the first two games. So we really have to come up good, play some good cricket and try to win this game because I think we were pretty average in the first two games, so we really need to improve our performance in all three areas of the game.” He then stressed on their poor fielding so far in the world cup and how the dropped catches affected the outcome of the matches. “We need to take our chances, especially the catches, if we really want to be in the game all the time, and batting needs to be professional.”
Misbah has also been criticized of his batting style and his batting position about whether he should bat higher or continue to bat at no. 4. He responded by saying “It’s very easy to say there are a lot of dot balls, but that sometimes happens. When sometimes the team is really bowling well, it could be difficult or tricky for you to rotate the strike.”
The match tomorrow is really important for players like Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal as they are the big players who need to step up in these difficult times for Pakistan. Pakistan need to win tomorrow’s match against Zimbabwe if they are to qualify for the quarters and to silence the critics.