The Pakistan cricket team is in news and is getting blasted from all quarters. In a disastrous start to its T20 World Cup 2024 campaign, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team slumped to a loss against newcomers USA in Dallas on Thursday. Batting first, Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s 44 combined with Shadab Khan‘s quickfire 40 off 25 balls steered them to 159/7 in 20 overs. In reply, USA captain Monank Patel‘s half-century along with cameo knocks from Andries Gous (35) and Aaron Jones (36) enabled them to match their opponent’s total on the final ball of the innings.

In the Super Over contest, Jones and Harmeet Singh set the target of 19 runs for Pakistan to win the match but Saurabh Netravalkar successfully defended it and etched a historic win for the side.  

Former Indian cricket team star Dinesh Karthik, who just retired after the IPL, said that Babar Azam’s comments after the defeat was uncalled for.

“As a leader, you need to find a way to be diplomatic in press conferences, and somehow find a way to back your players. Inside the four walls of the dressing room, you can say what you want and have a go at a few people, but you need to find a way to back those players. It’s one thing to be honest, another thing to try to understand the team dynamics of team are,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz

“He’s newly appointed a captain. A lot of players are vulnerable right now, and he needs to back them. He needs to be saying things like, ‘yes, it was a bad day. We probably could’ve done certain things better, but we will make sure once we get on a roll, we have special players’. That’s the kind of language. To state that we didn’t play well in the first six overs, we lost too many wickets… it’s stating the obvious.”

After the loss, Babar said: “The first six overs, the ball was holding and was swinging. But the more partnerships we build, the better for us. When Shadab and I started the partnership, we got momentum. I think when we lost the wickets back-to-back, that was the turning point. When you got momentum, you lost it because of losing wickets.”

Karthik also criticised Karthik’s body language.

“I fear Pakistan players reading it, which they will be, will feel he’s ‘letting us down’. The way he’s conducted himself at the field, having a go after the boundaries or his shoulders dropping, isn’t a sign of a good leader,” he said. 

“He needs to find a way to find body language to suggest he’s fine with whatever’s happening, and they can come around. Yes, showing disappointment is fine, but there’s a way to show it where the players don’t get even more nervous than they already are.”

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