Pakistan were handed a chastening seven-wicket defeat by the West Indies in their opening fixture of the 2019 World Cup at Trent Bridge on Friday. Here are our five takeaways from that game.
By far the worst Pakistan performance in years
Conventional criticism, unforgiving memes, name-calling and even veiled threats have been directed towards the team since last night. The dilemma is how do you kick someone who's already down and is being given the long count.
Do you still take your shot or do you pull some punches. As much as I don't want to flog a dead horse, I still have to say that this performance was by far the biggest disappointment this team has ever given.
To have all the long-held fears about the team validated on the very first outing of the biggest tournament was not just ugly and painful, it was humiliating and demoralising.
Old demons return
It's not like there is any mystery to what happened. Loose strokes, schoolboy errors, susceptibility to short-pitched bowling and mental fragility are to be blamed. These are the very same issues that have been Pakistan's Achilles heel since times immemorial. It's unfortunate then that after all that coaching, foreign tours and whatnot, the team can still be exposed in this fashion.
Were Windies that good?
It's been said to death, but despite the risk of sounding trite, it has to be reiterated that West Indies did not win it but Pakistan lost the match. With all due respect to Oshane Thomas, Jason Holder and Andre Russell, this is not a trio that strikes fear into any batsman's heart.
They did suck the life out of Pakistani line-up but so determined were the likes of Sarfaraz Ahmed and co to get out, they would have done so against any bowler with the ability to bowl a legal delivery.
After all, bowling way outside the off or leg stumps or producing stock standard short deliveries is no art. Chasing them and nicking them behind or act like complete imbeciles to rising deliveries is the real art. A dying one for the rest of the world but Pakistani seem to be carrying the torch.
Amir back among wickets but not back to being vintage Amir
The only teeny tiny positive was Mohammad Amir being back among the wickets. But don't let his three-for, his first in two years, mislead you. This was still not vintage Amir. The wickets came but the search of the Amir of old continues.
The good thing about the long league format is that any single match almost always has no bearing on where the team finishes. Pakistan can still top the group. The only thing is that such a one-sided defeat has left them with a net run rate of -5.802, which could become a factor later in the tournament.
That and the fact that their next opponents are England, are scary prospects. The only thing that gives hope is Michael Vaughan's way of looking at things.