158! Perhaps all Pakistanis must be familiar with this figure and surely overjoyed by remembering the iconic 2017 champion trophy win over their arch-rival India. It seemed that Pakistan has answered all the Mauka Mauka sarcasm with that 180 runs defeat.
However, Asia cup 2018 drag down Pakistan cricket back to earth with a two consecutive and brutal defeats against India and a struggle victory against underdog Afghanistan turned out to be an eye opener for the cricket champions.
In two games against India, Pakistan unperformed and faced brutal defeats by an eight-wicket and nine-wicket in the group stages and super four respectively.
What is going wrong for Pakistan team? It’s almost the same that won the Champion Trophy and crushed the world-class Indian cricket team that too under the leadership of Virat Kohli. Pakistan was most likely to win Asia cup as the team is richly familiar with the playing condition of UAE, Thanks to PSL3!
However, Pakistan Head Coach Mickey Arthur culminate the current situation of the team as the issue of confidence and defined it as the reality check for the cricket team.
“Yes, they are suffering a bit of confidence crisis at the moment, there is fear of failure in the dressing room. There is a bit reality check of where we are as a cricket team,” Mickey Arthur
Pakistan is now obviously under pressure which can easily give India an edge in the most likely and predictable India vs Pakistan Asia Cup final. With the final game win, Pakistan could easily wash up the damage of last two defeats against India. But, the question arises here is about team performance, the same champion team that is now struggling to give tough time to their arch-rivals.
No Challenging Series after CT17
Since Champion trophy, Pakistan only dominates the underdog sides including, underperforming West Indies, new and struggling Sri Lankan cricket team, non-test playing nation Scotland and underdogs Zimbabwe.
The only challenging task that came across to Pakistan team is the tour to New Zealand that ended up as a ruthless whitewash (5-0) defeat to Pakistan. Pakistan has not experienced a real challenge for over a year which is shattering their confidence now while playing in highly pressured matched that leads them to the confidence crisis.
Nonetheless, hopes are still there and Micky Arthur also showed confidence in this team for rest of the games to come.
“We will come back from this. We are at our best in must-win matches. That’s when we come to the party. I believe in our players. I think they are a fantastic bunch of players.” Said, Arthur