It's interesting to witness how losses can dramatically alter the fortunes of a team or its players. A team once considered a top contender for the title, led by an apparently invincible captain, is now facing severe criticism within their own nation. Pakistan, the 1992 World Cup champions, suffered consecutive losses to India and Australia and then faced another significant setback against Afghanistan, who confidently chased down Pakistan's 283-run target in Chennai.
This crushing defeat has left Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan, teetering on the edge of elimination from the World Cup. Former Pakistani cricket legends, including Wasim Akram, Misbah ul Haq, Ramiz Raja, Rashid Latif, Muhammad Hafeez, Aaqib Javed, Shoaib Malik, Moin Khan, and Shoaib Akhtar, have all criticized Babar and other players for their lackluster performance in the tournament.
Babar's decision to give his bat to Afghanistan's opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz after the eight-wicket loss has further fueled discontent in the cricket community, intensifying calls for his replacement as captain. Aaqib suggested that Shaheen Shah Afridi should take over as Pakistan's captain in the white-ball formats instead of Babar.
"Shaheen is the best bet for the future of Pakistan cricket. Babar has failed to prove himself as an able captain in white ball formats," the former pacer said.
Fielding and body language of players was poor: Akram
Pakistan now have to win all their remaining four games against England, South Africa, New Zealand and Bangladesh to stand any chance of qualifying for the semifinals. The former Pakistan player, Wasim Akram even pointed out that the fielding standards of the team is pathetic. The veteran pacer said that in the game against the Afghanistan in ODI World Cup 2023 the body language of Pakistan players was very poor.
"The fielding and body language of the players was very poor and unconvincing (against Afghanistan). They just didn't appear capable of defending 283 which is not a small total. The bowling was ordinary and the fielding levels were pathetic," Akram said.