If you’re being unkind, you might call today’s a typical Pakistani fielding performance. So often it has been a bugbear – Wasim Akram once quipped that Pakistan’s fielding cost him 700 wickets – and today they lived down to the reputation.
Shaheen Shah Afridi learning what all Pakistani fast bowlers learn very early in their career - don't rely on your fielders #U19CWC— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) January 29, 2018
There were four missed catches – Manjot Kalra twice the beneficiary in a scratchy stay – missed run outs in double figures, and countless overthrows. Pakistan captain Hassan Khan was dismayed, and thought it was the difference between the two sides.
“I don’t think we were up to the standards in terms of fielding today,” he said. “We had a couple of chances, and if we’d availed them, it might have been a different story. Their fielders are really good, everybody knows that. India took their chances. That’s the difference. If we had put in more effort in the field, we might have been able to keep them to a lesser total and it would have been a different story.”
The poor performance especially hurt because throughout this tournament fielding hasn’t been a specific weakness for Pakistan. As the videos below demonstrate, there have been sharp chances taken, direct hits nailed, and cool heads kept, until today.
“At this level, there are a lot of teams who are very good in the field these days,” said Hassan. “There is high competition. We have also fielded very well throughout the tournament, only today was a bad day.”
Hassan couldn’t fault his side’s preparation and thinks Pakistan was fairly unaffected by the fact that it was a Semi-Final and that the opponents were India. In the end he just had to chalk it up to being one of those days.
“I won’t say it was because of the pressure,” he said. “I don’t think the team was feeling any pressure or anything like that. A lot of the boys were high on morale and were enjoying themselves. We train really hard for that, and I think it just wasn’t our day today. It was a bad day at the office. It wasn’t the pressure or the training, it was just a bad day today.”