World Cup 2019: Sarfaraz warns Pakistan must improve ahead of India clash

Pakistan once again produced some sloppy out-cricket in a 41-run group stage defeat by champions Australia at Taunton on Wednesday, dropping three catches amid other misfields.

Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed speaks to the media after his side lost to Australia.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed said his side has to raise its fielding standards ahead of a crucial World Cup match against arch-rivals India at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Pakistan once again produced some sloppy out-cricket in a 41-run group stage defeat by champions Australia at Taunton on Wednesday, dropping three catches amid other misfields.

“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,” the wicket-keeper admitted. “We work together again, and work hard before the India match.”

Pakistan has never beaten India in six World Cup matches dating back to 1992. Pakistan could have derailed Australia at the start, after Sarfaraz won the toss and opted to field first.

But first slip Asif Ali dropped Aaron Finch off paceman Wahab Riaz when the Australian skipper was on 26 with the total at 67.

Finch (82) and David Warner (107) took the opening stand to 146 before Mohammad Amir turned the match on its head with a career best 5-30 as Australia was bowled out for 307 in 49 overs.

Sarfaraz said Pakistan had made too many mistakes of its own in a match where it was dismissed for 266 in 45.4 overs.

It now has three points from four games, with two defeats, one win - a surprise success over tournament host and favourites England - and a no-result.

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

Sarfaraz added a rapid collapse that saw three wickets lost for 11 runs as Pakistan slumped to 147-5 had also proved costly.

“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.”

Mohammad Hafeez also fell when well set, for 46, when he hit a Finch full toss straight to deep square leg.

“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.”