Sarfaraz stands by decision to field first against India, acknowledges team's shortcomings

Published June 17, 2019
"I think whole team is not performing well in all three departments," says Sarfaraz in post-match conference. — PCB website
"I think whole team is not performing well in all three departments," says Sarfaraz in post-match conference. — PCB website

Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, in a post-match press conference following the team's defeat to India, stood by his decision to field first but acknowledged that the Green Shirts have not been performing well in all three departments.

On Sunday, India secured a comfortable 89-run victory against Pakistan via the Duckworth-Lewis method in the tournament's most anticipated group match.

Pakistan is yet to win a World Cup match against its cricketing rival, with yesterday's loss being the seventh one.

Read: 5 talking points from the Pakistan vs India World Cup battle

When asked if, in hindsight, he believed his team should have opted to bat first, Sarfaraz said: "I think we won a good toss. I think we didn't capitalise that [to the fullest] — when we saw the pitch, a little bit of moisture on the pitch, we used the conditions. I think we didn't hit the right areas and created for the hitters while they played really well through that."

Replying to a question about whether the responsibility for the loss lies on the senior players, the skipper said: "I think you need to talk about the whole team — I think whole team is not performing well in all three departments."

"If you see today's match, I think the batsmen made a good start. I think Babar and Fakhar played really well but unfortunately, we lost too many wickets and that was the turning point — that's why we lost today," Sarfaraz said, acknowledging that the team failed to capitalise on the opportunities that were presented to them throughout the match.

Explore: 'Good night Pakistan': Twitter reacts to Pakistan's performance against India

The skipper also defended his decision to drop a specialist batsman and bowler to make room for two all-rounders. "We were going with five bowlers and six batters. So I think our decision was right."

'India, Pakistan should play bilateral cricket'

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday said that India and Pakistan should play bilateral cricket "in the larger interest of the sports and for the good of cricket", Radio Pakistan reported.

Qureshi, who attended the World Cup match between the arch-rivals yesterday, said that there was no immediate chance of cricket with the neighbouring country "as India is shy of talks with Pakistan these days".

According to Radio Pakistan, Qureshi hoped that India would play against Pakistan and said that it was "vital for the promotion of the game in the region as well as across the globe".

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