Pakistan team’s batting coach Andrew Puttick said Wednesday that the Men In Green were still hopeful of pulling off wins in the upcoming World Cup match after three consecutive losses.
The Green Shirts stand in fifth position on the points table after having suffered defeat at the hands of Afghanistan, Australia, and India, with them needing to win all remaining matches for a chance to qualify for the semi-finals of ICC’s marquee event.
While talking to Geo News about Pakistan’s chances of making it to the final four of the Cup, Puttick remained optimistic and said that Pakistan still has a chance.
“Our backs are against the wall, but we still have a chance, and there’s no option now. We have to go and do the business and bring our best. I’m pretty confident we can get the ball rolling starting on Friday,” he said.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, after suffering a humiliating defeat from a weaker Afghanistan, acknowledged that his side lacked in all three departments, but noted that they were not going to give up and put up a fight in their next fixtures.
Pakistan now face South Africa at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on October 27, Friday. The Proteas have been a formidable side in the mega tournament, winning four out of the five matches they’ve played.
Puttick, a former South African cricketer, said that the Green Shirts will have to play their best cricket to beat an in-form side like South Africa.
After suffering three consecutive defeats, the morale within the Pakistan camp was a point of concern.
Puttick shed light on the team’s spirits, saying: “Yeah, the boys were hurting a little bit. It’s been a tough couple of days, but I think everyone woke up this morning really raring to go and looking forward to getting out in the park again on Friday and putting in a good performance.”
When asked about the areas Pakistan needs to work on to put pressure on the formidable South African side, Puttick emphasised the importance of bringing their best game.
“They are the informed side in the tournament, excelling with the bat, taking wickets with the new ball, and performing well in the field. We’re going to have to come up with our plans and ensure we bring our best game. We need to start well and compete with them every ball,” he stated.
On the question of whether Pakistan can match South Africa’s aggressive batting, Puttick expressed confidence in the ability of Pakistan’s batsmen.
“Yes, definitely. We’ve got a quality lineup of batters with their own individual skills and unique ways of playing. On our day, we can compete with any side. So, that’s our thinking. We’ll go with positive intentions on Friday and give it a good go,” he said.
“We need to be clear on our game plan and have the confidence to execute it on the day. We’ve got quality batters, and we do well when we get good partnerships going through the middle and finish strongly. We’d like to be better in the powerplay, and there were promising signs against Afghanistan.”
Puttick elaborated on improving powerplay performance, saying, “It’s about having plans ready and the freedom to execute those plans on the day. Knowing when to target certain bowlers and having the skills to do so is crucial.”
When asked about his views on Saud Shakeel, Puttick praised the talented young cricketer, saying: “Saud is a smart cricketer with a lot of potential.”
“He’s experienced at the domestic level and has had a good start to his international career. I see him getting better and better as he settles into this ODI side. He’s betting in a very important position, number five, where you need to be flexible and adaptable, and he certainly is that so I’m expecting great things going forward from Saud,” Puttick said.