Amidst and uneasy calm, Pakistan’s players left their hotel in Bridgwater, a market town in Somerset, for Manchester on Thursday.
It’s a five to six hours bus ride from Bridgwater to the city centre in Manchester, where Pakistan will get a chance to revive their World Cup campaign following a disappointing 41-run defeat against Australia in Taunton on Wednesday.
Pakistan committed a series of errors in their match against Australia. In the past such an outing in an all important tournament like the World Cup would have resulted in major outbursts within the dressing room.
That could have happened even in the aftermath of Wednesday’s loss. But publicly, team officials are saying that a post-mortem of the defeat has been left till the team reaches Manchester.
“There were no formal team meetings or discussion after yesterday’s game. That will all happen once the team gets to Manchester for the next match,” a team official told ‘The News’.
Pakistan will need a lot of soul-searching after their second defeat in four matches. With one game (against Sri Lanka) washed out, the Pakistanis are now precariously placed at the eighth spot on the points table with just three points. They have to ideally win four of their last five matches to stay in the hunt for a place in the semi-finals. Their last five matches are against India (June 16), South Africa (June 23), New Zealand (June 26), Afghanistan (June 29) and Bangladesh (July 4).
The Pakistanis were given a rest day on Thursday, In any case they didn’t have any time to practice on Thursday as they were scheduled to reach their hotel in Manchester after 5 pm. They have lined up a training session at Old Trafford on Friday morning but rainy weather could force them to take it indoors.
Pakistan have been affected by wet weather during the best part of their World Cup campaign and could be dogged by more rains during their stay in Manchester. The weather forecast predicts wet weather in the area including on Sunday when Pakistan and India will play in front of a sell-out crowd at Old Trafford.