"Fielding has been a constant worry. We work extremely hard in our training sessions but have been unable to translate those drills into performances" -Sarfraz Getty

Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan skipper, reflected on his side's morale-sapping loss against Australia in the ICC World Cup by observing that the pacers didn't execute their plans well on a track that offered some assistance upfront.

"The match had started off well. Rain stayed away and the forecast changed. Our plan was if we win the toss, we will field first and try to keep Australia under 270 or 280.

"After putting Australia into bat, we needed to bowl in the right areas to cash in on the benefit of bowling first. Unfortunately, apart from Mohammad Amir, no bowler bowled as well as we had expected and the first 30 overs did not go for us as we had planned. We sometimes bowled in the right channels but not consistently enough," he added.

He also noted that the think-tank had taken into consideration the practice game that Pakistan played during their tour of England in 2016 to decide about their combination. "This was our first competitive experience of Taunton as we had previously only played a warm-up match here on the 2016 tour in which the fast bowlers had played a pivotal role."

Sarfraz threw his weight behind his two pace bowling wards - Amir and Wahab Riaz - as their selections for the World Cup were done at the eleventh hour. The skipper was pleased with how the two have been shaping up during the tournament. Amir, in particular, has bowled zestful spells and picked up a five-wicket haul in Taunton.

"A lot of people were questioning about Amir not being in the original squad. We wanted to give him an opportunity in the England series. He played the first game at The Oval, but that match was rained-off and then he had chickenpox. But, we never wrote him off. As far as Wahab Riaz is concerned, he was recalled, so that we could utilise his pace and experience in the middle overs. I am pleased, both have justified their selections."

However, on the slip side, the pace duo of Shaheen Afridi and Hasan combined to give away 137 runs. "I think Hasan Ali is bowling well but he has been unlucky not to pick wickets. Shaheen Shah, playing his first match, was off the mark in the first spell, but came back better and got us wickets in the second spell."

Sarfraz also lamented Pakistan's poor fielding. Asif Ali fluffed a couple of chances, with David Warner and Aaron Finch getting reprieves.

"Fielding has been a constant worry. We work extremely hard in our training sessions but have been unable to translate those drills into performances since the series against England. There is no doubt or argument that we need to improve our fielding in the remaining games."

The disappointed skipper also dissected the batting effort. Pakistan kept their fans on the edge of the seat during the chase as wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals. A late flourish led by Sarfraz lifted Pakistan's hopes before Mitchell Starc ripped through the lower order.

"Reflecting on our run-chase, we were on course at 136 for two. But, a 15-ball spell in which we lost two wickets for 10 runs turned the match on its head. The worst part was both Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez fell to soft shots. To complicate matters further, Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali followed soon and we slipped from 136 for two to 160 for six.

"Hasan Ali then played very well, took the pressure off and revived our hopes. When Wahab came in, I told him to bat as long as possible. We were going well until Mitchell Starc came on to bowl. I thought that we could achieve the required run-rate of 7.5, if we could see him through that over. I was taking inspiration from the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match against Sri Lanka in which I batted with the tail to win the match. Unfortunately, a faint edge, which was spotted on the snicko, resulted in Wahab's dismissal."

Sarfraz signed off sounding confident ahead of the clash against India on Sunday (June 16). The marquee clash has already been in news and both teams will leave no stone unturned to win it. Sarfraz didn't downplay the hype around the game and termed it as a 'big' affair.

"All of us know how big the game against India will be at Old Trafford. We will do our best preparation for that game. It will be a new game at a new venue, so we have to start it with a clean slate and go for the kill. I have full faith and confidence in my team and I am sure we will turn this around."