Gary Kirsten blames ‘not so great’ decision making on ‘disappointing’ India loss

Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam pictured alongside national side’s white-ball coash Gary Kirsten in this image released on May 24, 2024. — X/@TheRealPCB

Pakistan’s white-ball head coach Gary Kirsten has opened up on the Green Shirts’ “disappointing” defeat in T20 World Cup 2024 match against India while blaming the bad decision making for yesterday’s loss.

“Some maybe not so great decision making when you’ve got the game on, it’s at a run-a-ball, eight wickets in hand, it was decision making at that point [that cost us],” the International Cricket Council (ICC) quoted Kirsten as saying.

His remarks come after the national side suffered a six-run defeat at the hands of arch-rivals in a low-scoring Group A match at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

After bowling out the Rohit Sharma-led side for 119 runs, the Men in Green fell short and could only score 113 in the given 20 overs due to reckless batting which has effectively put their chances of progressing in the tournament at risk.

Reflecting on yesterday’s match, Kirsten, who only joined the national side in the United Kingdom last month after being appointed as the head coach, admitted that the Babar Azam-led side had the match in their hands but failed to capitalise on the opportunity.

“[We] let it slip at the end […] I think we had the game at 76/2, with six or seven overs left at that point, so it’s disappointing not to get across the line from the position we got ourselves into,” he noted.

Lamenting that small details can have a significant impact, Kirsten admitted that the Green Shirts “gave away” 10 to 15 runs at the end which shouldn’t have been the case.

Stressing that its up to the players how they wish to take their game forward in the future, the head coach reassured that he, along with his team, will be “looking into the issues” before their match against Canada on June 12.

“If you’re not up to it and you’re not improving, you’re going to get found out somewhere,” Kirsten said while pointing out the experience that a lot of players have in the team.

However, he expressed hope that the team still has a chance to progress in the tournament and said that they are hopeful for things to go their way.

His remarks coincide with Babar’s views expressed in the post-match ceremony wherein the skipper admitted that the team weren’t up to the mark, played too many dot balls and failed to capitalise early in the game during the second innings.

Following the loss against India, the Green Shirts are now heavily dependent on not just winning their next two games — against Ireland and Canada — but also the US to lose their next two against India and Ireland. 

Even if Pakistan win their next matches, they would still need to have a better net run rate than the US to secure a place in the Super Eight stage.

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