Pakistan coach Kirsten admits team took excessive pressure during run-chase


Following his side’s six-run loss to India in their ICC T20 World Cup match, Pakistan head coach Gary Kirsten admitted that the team put more pressure on themselves than necessary and appreciated the excitement of a low-scoring thriller in a format often dominated by big hits.

Jasprit Bumrah’s miserly three-wicket haul applied pressure on Pakistan batters, and a counter-attacking, match-saving knock by Rishabh Pant powered India to a narrow win at a packed Nassau County Stadium, keeping India’s World Cup dreams alive with two more group stage games to go.

Team India Makes History by Defending Lowest Total in Thrilling Win Over Pakistan

Speaking about the performance after the game in a post-match press conference, Kirsten said, “Pretty much spot-on (about players putting excessive pressure on themselves). These guys are all international players and they are aware that when they are not performing at their best, there is going to be pressure put on them. That is understandable, but a lot of these guys have played a lot of T20 cricket around the world over many, many years, and it is really up to them to decide how they are going to take their games forward.”

On the playing surface at Nassau County Stadium, Kirsten noted that it was not dangerous except for the occasional sharply rising ball. “It generally kept a little bit lower. I think we were able to score for both batting sides and also a fairly slow outfield, so it was never going to be a big total. I would have said 140 would have been a really good score on that pitch. So, India did not get that, so I thought we had the game. We knew it was going to be tight, but sometimes it is fun seeing games like that as well. It is not always about sixes and hitting, getting 230s and 240s. You can actually have a really entertaining game on a 120 chase. So, I do not think it is bad for the game,” he added.

Kirsten explained the strategy while chasing was to seek the occasional boundary, capitalize on loose deliveries, and maintain a steady rotation of the strike. “We kept it at a run a ball, and then we lost wickets and then we stopped scoring ones and then we were looking for boundaries and once you have got to that point, it was always going to be hard. So, the message was to do what we executed on for 15 overs,” he said.

The coach emphasized the importance of strike rotation on such surfaces. “Sometimes it is fun to watch a game like this where it is not only about hitting boundaries, but you also have to be able to use 120 balls really well. As I said, we did for 15 overs and then we lost the plot,” he added.

Kirsten expressed his satisfaction with the bowlers, noting that Pakistan has one of the best bowling units for the final overs. However, he admitted the team is currently losing too many wickets. “We have got four fantastic seamers and Imad Wasim I thought bowled really well today as well. So, we have got some nice options on the ball with the team, and I think we are going to be a difficult team to bat against if we bowl like that. So that is a positive going forward. Obviously, there is a concern around how we can put our innings together and structure it.”

“We did really nicely in the last game against the USA where Shadab Khan and Babar put on a partnership of 70 when we were 26 for 3. But period, we are losing too many wickets. As a batting unit, you cannot lose as many wickets as we are losing. Players have got to take responsibility when that opportunity comes,” he concluded.

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