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‘Team disheartened after two defeats,’ Azhar Mehmood says on T20 World Cup losses

A representational image showing Pakistan team’s assistant coach Azhar Mahmood addressing media representatives at a press conference. — AFP/File 

NEW YORK: Following back-to-back T20 World Cup 2024 losses against the United States and arch-rivals India, Pakistan team’s assistant coach Azhar Mahmood has acknowledged the national side’s low morale in the ongoing mega event.

“After two defeats, everyone is quite disheartened. Losing against India is more disappointing than a defeat against the US,” said the assistant coach while speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of today’s must-win match against Canada.

Mahmood’s remarks come after the Babar Azam-led side was defeated by the US who secured a five-run victory in the Super Over. This setback was followed by a disappointing loss against India where the Green Shirts failed to chase down a modest 120-run target and loss by six runs. 

Following the loss against India, the Green Shirts are now heavily dependent on not just winning their next two games — against Ireland and Canada — but also the US to lose their next two against India and Ireland. 

Even if Pakistan win their next matches, they would still need to have a better net run rate than the US to secure a place in the Super Eight stage.

Elaborating on how the players are doing, Mahmood said: “At the moment, everyone’s morale in the team is down, it’s necessary to lift it as we can still bounce back and we won’t lose hope until it’s over.”

He further blamed the national side’s batters for poor shot selection for defeat against India.

“Our shot selection wasn’t right, which led to a run rate of 10. We were playing well until the 15th over. We lost as a team and can’t blame individuals,” he maintained.

It is to be noted that the Men in Green will play an important match against Canada at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York today as their T20 World Cup journey stands on thin ice.

The team needs to win both of their upcoming high-stakes group matches to stay in the tournament. Additionally, their World Cup chances are tied to the United States losing both of their matches against India and Ireland.

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