No need to push panic button, Sarfraz says after Pakistan's poor show in Asia Cup

No need to push panic button, Sarfraz says after Pakistans poor show in Asia Cup
Sarfraz Ahmed accepted the blame for Pakistan's poor show in the Asia Cup.

Abu Dhabi - Captain takes full responsibility for team's failure as alarm bells ring

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Thu 27 Sep 2018, 8:19 PM

Last updated: Thu 27 Sep 2018, 10:22 PM

"Our performance was poor and we failed to play as a team. We have to improve in all three departments of the game. I take full responsibility for the failure."

It was a poignant submission by a man, Sarfraz Ahmed, the captain of Pakistan, who lost matches in the Asia Cup to India and Bangladesh, managed a last-over win over Afghanistan, but got booted out of the tournament.

The 37-run loss against Bangladesh will hurt Pakistan's pride as the UAE is its second home. However, the captain said there was no need to hit the panic button yet but the losses served as an alarm bell.

"We didn't play well in the entire tournament. Our performance in all three departments of the game was below par. Be it batting, fielding with dropped catches and bowling, apart from this game, was not up to the mark. This is an alarm bell for us and I wonder what has happened to this team. Apart from the first match of the Champions Trophy 2017, and despite losing all matches in New Zealand, we had never suffered like this in all departments," Sarfraz said.

On the way forward, he said: "We have to analyse these matches and rectify our mistakes. We have to stop losing wickets early while batting. We have to start taking wickets while bowling. We have to take wickets in the middle overs - a factor which has helped Pakistan be successful in the past. We had all these issues and hence the failure."

He said youngsters like Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Imam Ul Haq, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi are the future of Pakistan.

"I agree we didn't play well but there are many talented players in the present team who need to be taken into confidence. Boys like Fakhar didn't deliver now but we have to back him, same with Babar too, Imam has done well and there's also Shadab and Hasan.

"We have to back them and also look at bench too. Everyone from the pool of players will get an opportunity and hopefully we will have a good team before the World Cup," he said and noted most players had played just 20-25 matches.

"We only had two experienced players. We need to back these youngsters to come good. But there will be changes in the team but there is no need to push the panic button."

On personal form and failure, he said: "As a captain and player I didn't perform well. I accept my mistakes."

He said the losses have taken a toll on him. "There is pressure on any Pakistan captain. Also when you are not performing and team is also losing there is lots of pressure. None will believe if I say I haven't slept properly for the last six days. But these are all part of the game. We are looking to the series against Australia and New Zealand," Sarfraz said with the hope for reversal in fortunes.

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