Pakistan’s head coach Grant Bradburn has termed Monday’s loss to India in the Super 4 stage of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 as a good reminder for the Green Shirts to get their act together ahead of the World Cup.
Commenting on yesterday’s (Monday) defeat against arch-rivals India which broke the Green Shirts’ three-month unbeaten streak, Bradburn said that he was “grateful” for the timely reminder that the Men In Green have experienced in the past two days.
“We haven´t lost a game of cricket for the last three months, so it´s a timely reminder that we need to turn up every day, put in our best in the park, and it´s actually a gift in the last two days we haven´t done that,” the coach said.
Furthermore, Bradburn also acknowledged that there are “no excuses” as Pakistan “lost at all facets of the game”.
India posted 356-2 in Colombo after rain forced the match into a reserve day and then bowled out Pakistan for 128 in 32 overs to register their biggest One Day Internationals (ODI) victory over their arch-rivals.
“My gut feeling is that we are grateful for the gift that has been this last two days,” Bradburn told reporters.
“We don´t get to play some of the best players in the world very often,” he added.
“We haven´t lost a game of cricket for the last three months, so it´s a timely reminder that we need to turn up every day, put in our best in the park, and it´s actually a gift in the last two days we haven´t done that.”
Pakistan elected to bowl after Azam won the toss but the team soon lost their grip after a 121-run opening stand between skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul hit 122 and 111 respectively to extend India´s domination in an unbeaten stand of 233.
Pakistan´s bowling, led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, had rattled India´s top order last week in an Asia Cup group game, bowling them out for 266 before the match was abandoned because of rain.
But Rohit, Gill, Rahul and Kohli came roaring back in the Super Four contest to take the attack to the bowlers.
Bradburn, a former New Zealand international who played seven Tests and 11 ODIs, said Pakistan will learn from the batting assault.
“Certainly wasn´t a surprise. Everyone´s seen how lethal our bowling attack is and good teams will counteract that,” Bradburn said.
Azam started the tournament with 151 against minnows Nepal but Bradburn said Pakistan´s batting still lacked firepower.
“Our batting unit hasn´t clicked in the past month and again, that is a positive sign,” he added.
“We have full trust in them. We are very consistent with our selection. We know they will come right.”
Pakistan next play Sri Lanka on Thursday.