Former Pakistani captain Wasim Akram expressed his concerns after Pakistan’s fourth consecutive defeat in the ICC World Cup 2023. He pointed out a significant mistake made by Babar Azam during the match against South Africa in Chennai.
Wasim, who led Pakistan in the 1996 and 1999 World Cups, argued that giving the 48th over to Mohammad Nawaz when South Africa only needed six runs off 18 balls with one wicket remaining was a mistake. He believed that Usama Mir, who came in as a concussion substitute for Shadab Khan, was bowling well and had already taken two wickets.
Wasim stated, “When Nawaz got that over, Usama had two overs remaining at that time. He was bowling better as well. He was going to baffle the tailenders with mystery googly or leg spin. Yes, I agree that his first three to four overs were not up to the mark, but he [came back] took two wickets for 45 runs.”
He further added that apart from this mistake, Babar Azam’s captaincy was fine, and he had used the main bowlers effectively to take wickets.
Wasim also praised the Pakistani bowlers, particularly Wasim Jr, who was playing his first World Cup match. He commended Wasim Jr’s performance and noted that the Pakistani bowlers had made a game out of it.
In the end, South Africa narrowly defeated Pakistan by one wicket in a thrilling match, which marked Pakistan’s fourth consecutive defeat in the tournament. South Africa now leads the World Cup points table with 10 points and a strong net run rate. Pakistan’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals have become uncertain, and they would need other teams’ results to go in their favor, even if they win their remaining matches.