KOLKATA, India (Reuters) – Lack of swing in India has taken much sting out of the Pakistan pace attack in the 50-overs World Cup, head coach Grant Bradburn said ahead of Tuesday’s clash against Bangladesh.
Pakistan’s semi-final hopes hang in balance after just two wins in six matches and their bowling, usually their strong suit, has looked mostly pedestrian with Shaheen Afridi failing to produce his best form so far in the tournament.
“We have a great resource of fast bowling talent in Pakistan,” Bradburn told reporters on Monday.
“We do rely on swing, but we haven’t experienced too much swing here.
“The balls are different. The conditions are different and certainly the ball tends to wear a lot quicker here.”
The 1992 champions lost speedster Naseem Shah even before the start of the World Cup through a shoulder injury and neither his replacement Hasan Ali nor Haris Rauf could fill that void.
Pakistan’s batting has not been consistent either and Bradburn said one of the top four batters must bat deep if they were to put up big totals in their remaining matches.
“The one area that is key for us is to try and have one of our top four batsmen going through into the 40th over,” he said.
“We’ve had batsmen that have gotten in and haven’t gone on. Those are some of the basics of cricket that are vitally important for us.”
Pakistan must win their remaining three group matches and hope other results go their way to make the last four, a situation Bradburn called far from ideal.
“We’re in a position that we didn’t want to be,” the New Zealander said.
“We were determined at this stage of the tournament to be in control of our destiny but we’re not.
“That hurts the group and all we can do now is control what we can control, and that is prepare well for three remaining pool games and then allow fate to be hopefully leaning on us in terms of our semi-final hopes from there.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Pritha Sarkar)