Pakistan lost the five-match ODI series 1-4 to England. However, there are some valuable lessons to be learnt from the debacle as a young Pakistan team would look to improve their limited-overs records.
Cricwizz takes a look at some of the lessons Pakistan can learn from the series loss.
Batting needs to fire in unison: Pakistan batting never fired in unison in the ODI series against England and that proved to be the biggest drawback for them. Their middle-order rescued them time and again after repeated top-order failures. Their top-order is shaky and some work is required in this aspect. Their batting showed what they are capable of in the last ODI at Cardiff as they chased down a 303-run target. They also had their batting combination wrong as Azhar Ali kept moving up and down the order during the series. If Pakistan solve their batting woes, they can be a good ODI team.
Keeping pacers fresh: Pakistan bowling was excellent at times, but failed to put up sustained pressure on the opposition. England managed to get away on quite a few occasions after Pakistan bowling had got them on the back foot. Pakistan reserve bowlers such as Mohammad Irfan and Hasan Ali too fared well after they were drafted into the playing XI after the hammering in Nottingham ODI. A long series was telling on the regular bowlers such as Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz. Hence, Pakistan have a good mix of bowlers who need to rotated cleverly to keep them fresh.
Fielding woes: Fielding was the biggest embarrassment for Pakistan in the ODI series. They dropped catches, missed run-outs and were lethargic on the field. They wilted under pressure during the run-riot in Nottingham ODI. Fielding cost them matches which would be a bitter pill for them to swallow.
Missing all-rounder: Imad Wasim is an exciting prospect, but he is more of a batting all-rounder. He was not dismissed even once during the series. But his bowling did not match the promise his batting delivered. If Wasim fires with his bowling as well, he can solve a few worries for Pakistan as he can be a useful fifth bowler option in limited-overs series.
Lack of a good spin support: Pakistan’s main spinner Yasir Shah fared poorly compared to the show put up by England spinners – Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid. The England spinners bowled well in tandem to not only contain Pakistan batsmen but also take a few useful wickets. Yasir Shah did not looked the same bowler who terrorised England in the Lord’s Test early this series. He also lacked a good spin support from the other end to make life difficult for England.