LAHORE: New Zealand cricketers in action during a net practice session at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.—M. Arif/White Star
LAHORE: New Zealand cricketers in action during a net practice session at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.—M. Arif/White Star

LAHORE: The message is clear: In Lahore, Pakistan can’t rest on their laurels.

New Zealand’s stunning victory in the third Twenty20 International was a reminder that Pakistan wouldn’t be enjoying a cakewalk against the depleted tourists and all-rounder Shadab Khan has stressed that his side will need to learn from their mistakes.

After the opening game of the five-match series was washed out, Pakistan’s bowlers put New Zealand, missing several of their top players due to their involvement in the Indian Premier League, to the sword in the second game.

However, a stirring batting performance from Mark Chapman saw New Zealand level the series in the last game in Rawalpindi and as the teams moved to Lahore for the final two matches, Shadab said on Tuesday that Pakistan needed to bounce back strongly.

“Everyone should accept their mistakes and learn from them … it’s the only way to improve,” Shadab told reporters at the Gaddafi Stadium as both teams held their practice sessions under floodlights ahead of the fourth T20 on Thursday

Pakistan’s loss in the third T20, failing to defend a total of 178 with New Zealand easing to victory with 10 balls to spare, raised alarm bells ahead of the upcoming World Cup in the United States and the West Indies but Shadab said it “wasn’t a surprise”.

“Any team can beat any team on a given day especially in T20 cricket,” he added. “New Zealand might not have big names in their squad here but the ones they have will be the stars of tomorrow.”

Shadab made a sparkling 41 coming in at number five in the third T20, one of the few positives Pakistan had on the day.

During the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League season, where he led Islamabad United to the title, Shadab was batting up the order and he said he felt “more comfortable” at that slot.

“I’ve spoken with the team management about the batting order,” Shadab added.

Pakistan have changed their team management recently and Shadab said that it will take time “for things to settle down as the team management is trying to implement new plans”.

With Babar Azam having been reinstated as captain, Shadab said it would be “up to the team management” to restore him to his former role as vice-captain.

Pakistan are testing several new players in the series against New Zealand as they look to form a strong unit ahead of the World Cup in June and Shadab pleaded for patience.

“Earlier, there were demands that young players should be given chances and now the same people are questioning it,” he said.

“New players should be given a consistent run so we need to be patient,” he added, indicating that with matches to come against Ireland and England, “Pakistan will prepare a strong team to win the World Cup”.

For New Zealand, meanwhile, the series against Pakistan is offering a chance for their bench strength to shine through.

Black Caps’ fast bowler Jacob Duffy told a news conference earlier on Tuesday that “new players are getting the opportunity to learn a lot and it is good preparation for the World Cup”.

“Our performance in the last match wasn’t a surprise for us,” he added. “It was the performance of a strong team”.

That win, Duffy said, had reinforced belief in his side that they can win the series.

“We have the potential to win it,” he said. “There will be good, entertaining cricket in the last two games.”

Published in Dawn, April 24th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Debt trap
Updated 30 May, 2024

Debt trap

The task before the government is to boost its tax-to-GDP ratio to the global average by taxing the economy’s untaxed and undertaxed sectors.
Foregone times
30 May, 2024

Foregone times

THE past, as they say, is a foreign country. It seems that the PML-N’s leadership has chosen to live there. Nawaz...
Margalla fires
30 May, 2024

Margalla fires

THE Margalla Hills — the sprawling 12,605-hectare national park — were once again engulfed in flames, with 15...
First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...