“The reality is - you must win. If you are winning, everything will cover up. And if you are losing, it doesn’t matter how good you are, or how your team was playing before. The main concern is - if you are winning, everything will cover it.”
Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan was admirably honest towards the end of an exhaustive pre-match press conference at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Thursday.
With a rampaging South Africa standing next in its way, Pakistan is still staring at several chinks across departments ahead of its sixth World Cup game.
“We are not performing in all the departments, which is why the team is at this stage. Our poor form is understood in batting and bowling. If you drop catches or give easy boundaries in such batting-friendly conditions, there is no pressure on the batter and eventually a lot of cost for us.
“I think the way we are fielding is completely different from the standards we have set. From tomorrow, we have got do-or-die matches, and we must do well in all three departments,” Shadab told reporters.
An hour before its optional session, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) issued a release to clear the air regarding any rifts within the team and a peek into Babar Azam’s captaincy future.
Shadab also defied the emerging reports and affirmed that the team has been on the same page despite its three-match losing streak. “I don’t think the fight is missing. As a team, we have had unity. We always bounce back, and hopefully, we will do it again.
“We accept the criticism. When you don’t perform, when you don’t win, everyone has their opinion. They can talk and criticize. But our focus is to just try and win the game for Pakistan, that’s it,” the 25-year-old said.
Shadab added that Pakistan has not given up on its semifinal hopes yet.
“We know to come out of such situations. And there are miracles in our belief. Our team was playing well before the World Cup. It’s not always the case that we, as a team, did not play well. There are bad days, but I think we will start our winning streak from tomorrow,” he remarked.
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