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Wednesday June 19, 2024

Azhar Mahmood acknowledges team's 'low morale' after India loss

Assistant coach laments poor shot selection, says individuals can't be blamed as they lost as a team

By Faizan Lakhani
June 11, 2024
Pakistan cricket teams Assistant Coach Azhar Mahmood. — Reuters/File
Pakistan cricket team's Assistant Coach Azhar Mahmood. — Reuters/File

NEW YORK: Pakistan cricket team's Assistant Coach Azhar Mahmood has acknowledged that the Green Shirts' morale is down following their defeat against arch-rivals India.

Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of the team's must-win game against Canada, Mahmood said: "After two defeats, everyone is quite disheartened."

He further acknowledged that losing against India is more disappointing than their embarassing defeat against the United States.

His remarks came after the Babar Azam-led side was consecutively defeated by India and the US, a relatively new side that defeated the Men in Green after a five-run victory in the Super Over.

The setback, however, was followed by a disappointing loss against India where the Green Shirts failed to chase down a modest 120-run target and loss by six runs.

Following the loss against India, the Babar-led side is now heavily dependent on not just winning their next two games — against Ireland and Canada — but also the US to lose their next two against India and Ireland.

Even if Pakistan win their next matches, they would still need to have a better net run rate than the US to secure a place in the Super Eight stage.

Elaborating on how the players are doing, Mahmood said: "At the moment, everyone's morale in the team is down, it's necessary to lift it as we can still bounce back and we won't lose hope until it's over."

He further blamed the national side's batters for poor shot selection for defeat against India.

"Our shot selection wasn't right, which led to a run rate of 10. We were playing well until the 15th over. We lost as a team and can't blame individuals," he maintained.

It is to be noted that the Men in Green will play an important match against Canada at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York today as their T20 World Cup journey stands on thin ice.

The team needs to win both of their upcoming high-stakes group matches to stay in the tournament. Additionally, their World Cup chances are tied to the United States losing both of their matches against India and Ireland.