ABU DHABI: Stand-in captain Shahid Afridi believes Pakistan’s abysmal performance in their 3-0 rout by Australia will hurt the team’s chances at next year’s World Cup.
Pakistan spurned a good chance of salvaging some pride in the third and final one-dayer on Sunday, losing by one run in the final over in Abu Dhabi.
Needing just two to win in the 50th and final over, Pakistan lost Sohail Tanvir (ten) off spinner Glenn Maxwell’s second ball and then Mohammad Irfan (nought) off the last.
Afridi said Pakistan cannot go into the World Cup in February and March in Australia and New Zealand with such performances.
“If we are not able to win on these pitches then we have to think we can’t go into the World Cup with these performances,” said Afridi.
Pakistan have now lost five straight one-dayers after losing the last two in a 2-1 defeat in Sri Lanka in August. Afridi said the batsmen once again spoilt the good work of the bowlers who kept Australia down to 231-9 in 50 overs on Sunday.
“If you look overall we have spoiled the good work of the bowlers,” said Afridi of the attack which saw paceman Sohail Tanvir taking 3-40 and himself finishing with 2-44.
“On this pitch it looked as if they will get 280-plus. We managed to keep them down to 231 but from the Twenty20 game to the third one-dayer our problem has been a lack of partnerships. When we build a partnership our wickets start to fall,” said Afridi, who is Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain.
Pakistan lost the only Twenty20 which preceded the one-day series by five wickets in Dubai. On Sunday, Pakistan were without regular one-day captain Misbah-ul-Haq who opted to rest because of a poor run of scores.
“The Pakistan captaincy is not an easy job,” said Afridi when asked why Misbah stepped aside.
“It was Misbah’s own decision to rest.“
When asked would he like to continue the one-day captaincy until the World Cup, Afridi said: “I think whoever is captain — Misbah or me — we should know about it. If I am to captain in the World Cup then I should know about it.“
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said it will be up to Misbah to decide whether or not he wants to lead Pakistan in the World Cup, but that the board has already started considering other options.
The PCB earlier this year appointed Misbah one-day captain until 2015 World Cup.