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Sarfaraz urges Pakistan to improve fielding ahead of India clash
Pakistan News

Sarfaraz urges Pakistan to improve fielding ahead of India clash

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed outlined the need for his team to elevate their fielding standards ahead of the high-intensity clash against India in Manchester on Sunday.

A sloppy display in the field from Pakistan saw them slump to a 41-run loss against Australia at Taunton on Wednesday as they were unable to cling onto several crucial catches and conceded overthrows.

"We need to improve because if we want to beat bigger teams like Australia and India then all three aspects of the game are crucial," said Sarfaraz.

"Definitely I think the fielding needs improvement -- the fielding is not up to the mark," he acknowledged. "We work together again, and work hard before the India match."

Pakistan are yet to triumph against India in a World Cup game stretching back to the 1992 edition of the tournament, however, the head-to-head record amongst the two archrivals tilts towards Pakistan's favour.

Frequent slip-ups in the field cost Pakistan dearly as they failed to stall Australia's batting charge after electing to bowl first under overcast conditions.

Asif Ali, not a regular in the slips, dropped Australia skipper Aaron Finch off Wahab Riaz's bowling when the opener was on 26 and he later went on to make full use of the missed chance, extending his contribution to 82 runs.

Finch and centurion David Warner cashed in on Pakistan's nervy start to the innings and established dominance with the bat before left-arm paceman Mohammad Amir provided his team some relief towards the end with consistent breakthroughs.

'Losing three wickets quickly was the turning point'

Pakistan are precariously placed in the World Cup standings, currently occupying the number eight slot with just three points after four games.

Moreover, their net run rate took a steep hit in the seven-wicket drubbing at the hands of the West Indies in their opening game while no play was possible in the encounter against Sri Lanka at Bristol.

"We committed more mistakes than Australia," said Sarfaraz. "We won a good toss but didn't bowl well in the first 30 overs."

Sarfaraz lamented the soft dismissals of the set batsmen Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez, as their departure from the crease triggered a sudden collapse of three wickets for just 11 runs.

"I think losing three wickets in the space of 15 balls was the turning point.

"Babar (Azam, who made 30 including seven fours) was playing well and his was a soft dismissal."

Hafeez had been finding sweet timing with the bat during his well-paced 46 before he swept a full toss from occasional left-arm spinner Finch straight down the throat of the man at the square leg boundary.

"The ball which Mohammad Hafeez got out to was a loose one -- it should have gone over the fence," said Sarfaraz.

"We have to overcome our mistakes because India are also a very strong team. We will assess our performance and then we will plan."