In the current T20I series against New Zealand, Pakistan, under the captaincy of Shaheen Afridi, struggled. The third match in Dunedin ended in a 45-run loss, giving New Zealand a 3-0 lead in the five-match series. Let’s look at the crucial moments and see what Shaheen Afridi has to say about the match.
Controversial toss decision
Shaheen Afridi added that they chose to bowl first because they believed it would be simpler to chase given the history of the Dunedin pitch. Unfortunately, their bowling underperformed, particularly on the powerplay and throughout the series. Afridi remarked that the squad struggled to give a decent bowling performance throughout the series. Despite the hurdles, he underlined the necessity of giving the team time to learn and improve, especially with major events on the way.
Finn steals the show
Finn Allen of New Zealand performed admirably, scoring 137 runs in just 62 balls. His superb performance set an unattainable target of 225 runs for Pakistan in the third T20I, making life difficult for the visiting squad.
Pakistan’s batting display
Babar Azam, Pakistan’s skipper in all forms, demonstrated his batting prowess with a third consecutive fifty in the series. Unfortunately, the squad struggled to convert promising starts into successful chases. Pakistan struggled in the middle order, losing wickets in fast succession, causing complications in the chase. After reaching 95 for two in the 11th over, they lost four wickets for a mere 39 runs.
Disappointing bowling from Pakistan
Haris Rauf regarded Pakistan’s strongest fast bowler, had a difficult day, conceding 60 runs in his four overs. Shaheen Afridi backed Rauf, claiming that even the finest bowlers may struggle in T20 cricket, particularly on short pitches. Afridi was disappointed with the whole bowling performance, admitting that they did not fulfill expectations. He backed Haris Rauf, emphasizing his standing as Pakistan’s best fast bowler despite the difficult day.
Shaheen’s 2 cents on Pakistan’s performance
Shaheen Afridi discussed how criticism in cricket may vary depending on victories and defeats. He said that even great performers such as New Zealand’s Matt Henry might experience difficulties in T20 cricket on short pitches. Afridi stood behind his colleagues, acknowledging that even the best bowlers can have bad days. He notably endorsed Haris Rauf, citing his status as Pakistan’s best fast bowler with the most wickets among pacers.
Shaheen Afridi’s debut series as Pakistan’s T20I captain has been challenging. While the team is struggling, Afridi’s thoughts on strategy, individual performances, and the need for collective progress demonstrate a captain committed to leading his team through ups and downs. As the series progresses, Pakistan will hope to learn from their mistakes and play better in future encounters.