Pakistan's performances in the Asia Cup 2018 so far have been lukewarm. After a handsome victory over Hong Kong to kick-start the tournament, they've suffered two heavy defeats against India, and were given an almighty scare by Afghanistan before Shoaib Malik pulled them through.
After losing by nine wickets to India in their previous game of the Super Four stage, the match against Bangladesh to be played on Wednesday, 26 September will act like a virtual semi-final. Before the all-important game, Malik called on his team to look for consistency.
"To go into the game as a slight underdog, we can really make that work for us" – Steve Rhodes is ready for Bangladesh's #AsiaCup2018 'semi-final' against Pakistan.— ICC (@ICC) September 26, 2018
READ ⬇️https://t.co/5sSQyRHcoa #BANvPAK pic.twitter.com/OGAuu6hSut
"We have played so much cricket here, we have all the combinations in our team, but still execution (is the key), and whoever is in good form, it’s their responsibility to perform on a consistent basis so you can help the team," Malik said.
"After losing first game to India, that was the time, the second game was the time to come back. We tried our best. But yes, that happens."
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur says that the last two defeats against India have been a "reality check" for his side.— ICC (@ICC) September 24, 2018
More from Arthur on Pakistan's Asia Cup campaign 👇👇https://t.co/X49OzO5uJm pic.twitter.com/NXC5zJor5m
For Pakistan, the mission will be to upstage Bangladesh and set up another match against India in the final of the tournament. If they are to repeat their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 heroics, they will have to give it their best.
"The goal is to go out there and give it your best shot, and that’s where we need to improve a lot... You can’t promise anybody that you’re going to score a hundred, or take five wickets. But the goal is to go out there and give it your best shot on a consistent basis."