Azhar Mahmood identifies key concerns after Pakistan’s loss to NZ in fourth T20I

Mahmood also acknowledged the team's strengths

Azhar Mahmood identifies key concerns after Pakistan’s loss to NZ in fourth T20I PHOTO: PCB

Pakistan head coach Azhar Mahmood has expressed concern about the team's performance after their narrow four-run loss to New Zealand in the fourth T20I of the series. 

Speaking after the match, Mahmood acknowledged the team's strengths, noting that Pakistan scored more boundaries and bowled more dot balls than New Zealand. However, he identified the opponents' ability to take more doubles as an area of concern that needs improvement.

"There were a few positives for us as we scored more boundaries than New Zealand. We also bowled more dot balls but they just took more doubles than us. These are areas of concern for us and we're constantly working on it," Mahmood said.

Mahmood commended Usman Khan's intent during the match, despite not achieving significant runs in the three innings of his debut series. Mahmood praised Usman's aggressive approach and shot selection, even though the batter didn't perform as expected.

"We always talk about showing intent. The way Usman Khan showed intent today was pleasant to watch. He played some good shots but couldn't perform the way we wanted him to. But intent-wise, he was spot on," he further added.

Looking ahead to the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA, which begins on June 2, Mahmood said the team has a clear idea of its best XI. However, they have been testing the bench strength to ensure all bases are covered and to address injury setbacks.

"We have an idea of our best playing XI but we wanted to try our bench strength as well before going into the World Cup. We've almost every base covered. There are a few injury setbacks which is unfortunate," he concluded.

It is worth noting that the defeat in fourth T20I against New Zealand marks Pakistan's second in the five-match series, ending their chances of a series victory even if they win the final match.

Despite coming close to chasing down the target, Pakistan fell short by four runs. In the final over, all-rounder Imad Wasim was unable to guide the team to victory, leaving Pakistan with a total of 174/8 in response to New Zealand's 178/7.

The last match of the series is set to be played in Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on Saturday.