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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'Foreign Indian conditions' blamed for Pakistan World Cup flop

'Foreign Indian conditions' blamed for Pakistan World Cup flop

Source: PTI
October 30, 2023 18:08 IST
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'Ideally, preparation for a tournament like this starts four years ahead. We started six months ago and changed direction in the way that we want to play the game of cricket, especially the one-day brand.'

Pakistan head coach Grant Bradburn with coaching staff during practice

IMAGE: Pakistan head coach Grant Bradburn with coaching staff during a practice session during the ICC World Cup at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, on October 12, 2023. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

Pakistan are hurt by their woeful World Cup show and Grant Bradburn, their head coach, blames it on "foreign" Indian conditions and the lack of familiarity with the venues.

Four defeats on the trot have virtually dashed Pakistan's semi-final hopes. They have to win their remaining three matches by big margins and hope that other teams' results also favour them to have any chance of making it to the last-four stage.

 

"We are in a position that we didn't want to be. We are determined at this stage of the tournament to be in control of our destiny but we're not. That hurts the group," said Pakistan’s coach on the eve of their match against Bangladesh in Kolkata on Tuesday.

"This tournament is on foreign conditions for us. None of our players have played here before. Every venue is a new one, including this one," he added.

Bradburn said his side has done their homework meticulously.

"We've done our homework meticulously on our opposition, on our venues that we're playing at, and we're prepared very, very well for each and every encounter.

"But the reality is that each and every venue is a new one for us and we don't feel disadvantaged at all in terms of the knowledge, the quality, the skill, the backing that we have for this team of cricketers."

The former Scotland coach, who had served as Pakistan's fielding coach and then consultant, was handed the reins by the PCB on a two-year deal in May.

"Ideally, preparation for a tournament like this starts four years ahead. We started six months ago and changed direction in the way that we want to play the game of cricket, especially the one-day brand.

"We've shown some positive signs of that over the last six months. We're proud of some of the performances that we've put on. It's taking a little bit longer than we hoped, but we want to play a dynamic brand that matches the challenge of the conditions we're playing in."

Skewed ICC Rankings

Pakistan were the No. 1 ODI side briefly in the lead-up to the World Cup and currently are No. 3, behind India and Australia.

But Bradburn believes that the ranking-system was skewed as Pakistan don't get to play India and many top-ranked countries don't play them at home of late.

He did not agree that Pakistan were the pre-tournament favourites.

"I'm not sure where you get favourites from because there are 10 teams in this tournament, there's 150 cricketers who are the best on the planet," Bradburn said.

"In terms of the ICC rankings, we know they are skewed because we don't get to play India, we don't get to play a lot of the top nations who haven't been to Pakistan of late.

"But we're realistic. We have not been the best in the world as yet, so which highlights where we are in this tournament right now. We have no divine right to beat anyone in this tournament."

Bradburn refused to blame the controversial DRS call for Pakistan's one-wicket loss to South Africa and said his side fell short by 20-30 runs despite assessing the sluggish Chennai conditions well.

"Chennai was a difficult venue to assess conditions, as you all well know. We felt we assess the conditions well but in the South African game we acknowledge and we've had skills meeting this morning and part of our skills meeting is that we reflect on the good and bad.

"And part of the admission for us is that we didn't have our batsmen going quite deep enough in that innings, and we probably left 20 to 30 runs out in the middle. And certainly 310 to 315, I think, in that game would have been sufficient to bring that game to a W for Pakistan," he said.

He said there was never any issue in terms of team environment.

"The environment is great. There's never any issue in terms of the environment. We have a wonderful group of players who are very determined, to bring joy to their nation, play a quality, exciting brand of cricket for our fans."

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