Australia executed their plans better against Pakistan

LONDON: IT is all about execution of your plans and the team that execute their plans better, carry the day. That is the summary of our match against Australia. We implemented our plans partly, but not wholly and made more mistakes and that made the difference in the end.
The match had started off well. Rain stayed away and the forecast changed. Our plan was if we win the toss, we will field first and try to restrict Australia to around 270-280. This was our first competitive experience of Taunton, as we had previously only played a warm-up match here on the 2016 tour in which the fast bowlers had played a pivotal role.
The pitch for Wednesday’s match had grass. It had bounce and carry, and it maintained its behaviour till the end. This meant if you bowl in the right areas, you will be rewarded. That is why we included an extra fast bowler in Shaheen Shah Afridi in place of Shadab Khan. Australia had done the same by leaving out Adam Zampa, so both the teams read the pitch correctly.
I can honestly share with you, it was tough to leave out Shadab, but after much deliberation we took the decision which we thought was in the best interest of the team in the given conditions.
After putting Australia into bat, we needed to bowl in the right areas to cash in on the benefit of bowling first.
Unfortunately, apart from Mohammad Amir, no bowler bowled as well as we had expected and the first 30 overs did not go for us as we had planned. We sometimes bowled in the right channels but not consistently enough.
What was the reason for Amir’s success? He pitched the ball up.
A lot of people were questioning about Amir not being in the original World Cup squad. We wanted to give him an opportunity in the England series. He played the first game at The Oval but that match was rained off and then he contracted chickenpox. But, we never wrote him off.
As far as Wahab Riaz is concerned, he was recalled so that we could utilise his pace and experience in the middle overs. I am pleased, both have justified their selections.
I think Hasan Ali is bowling well but he has been unlucky not to pick wickets. Shaheen, playing his first match, was off the mark in the first spell, but came back better and got us wickets in the second spell.
Talking about Australia’s batting, their openers hung on and that was the reason for their success. They played and missed, but, to their credit, they did what they had to do in that situation.
We dropped a crucial catch at the score of 67. Although dropping catches is part of the game, had we got a wicket at that stage, we would have applied more pressure on their middle-order.
That brings Asif Ali in the spotlight. Why was he fielding in the slips? It was because we had left out Shadab who fields at point, so we moved Babar Azam to point and brought Asif in the slips. Asif is considered to have bucket hands and is rated as a safe fielder who has previously fielded in slips.
Then Asif was dismissed off a very good delivery. It was a just a bad and tough day in the office for Asif, which is part and parcel for any athlete.


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