If the Pakistan players were looking for some consolation from their coach Mickey Arthur after an eight-wicket pounding from India on Wednesday, they found none. There was no sugar coating, just an honest appraisal of what went wrong.
The first glaring mistake was deviating from set plans. In nine ODIs coming into the India game, never mind that five of them were against a second-string Zimbabwe team, Imam-ul-Haq had been the grafter who looked to bat through. While he has four hundreds in these games, sceptics have felt his batting style is out-dated.
On Wednesday, after facing seven deliveries for two runs, he had a Shahid Afridi moment though - advancing down the pitch to heave Bhuvneshwar Kumar after Jasprit Bumrah had bowled a maiden over to Fakhar Zaman. Imam isn't the adventurous kind, even if he steps out. The result was a thin edge leading edge through to MS Dhoni, and Pakistan had lost a wicket in the third over.
"I think the pressure told on Imam," Arthur said. "That's not in his area. If he comes down, he's going to be going extra cover, not midwicket, so yes I do think there was a little bit of pressure."
Arthur wasn't against the idea of hitting over the top, but said the team management had worked overtime to drill into each player their role. Fakhar, for example, has been empowered to biff the bowling without worrying about repercussions, because anything else would be tweaking his natural ability.
"We've got guys, X-factor guys whose role it is to do that [hit out]," Arthur said. "If Fakhar gets out playing that way, then it's okay, because that's what he needs to do. If Asif Ali gets out like that it's okay because that's his role. But the other four batsmen certainly need to take responsibility. And I just thought we were soft - 158 dot balls out of 258 played is not good enough."
With the middle order exposed early, Pakistan's experienced batsmen had time to forge a recovery, and while crease occupation was important, they had to be mindful of runs too. It was in trying to step out and loft Kedar Jadhav over long-on that Sarfraz Ahmed was caught brilliantly on the boundary by Manish Pandey. Babar Azam had looked compact, but was out stepping out to Kuldeep Yadav. Then a mix-up with Asif Ali cost Shoaib Malik his wicket. In the end, a tame 162 all out in 43.1 overs was all they had.
The deviation from plans wasn't just restricted to their batting. After giving away just 15 runs off the first six overs with the ball, Pakistan could have looked to build pressure by continuing to bowl full and swing the ball. Strangely enough, Usman Khan decided to adopt a short-ball strategy from around the stumps to Rohit Sharma, and saw the plan spectacularly backfire as Rohit played the hook to perfection.
"On a wicket like that you need to strike really if you're going to defend it. We didn't strike early enough," Arthur said. "We went away from our plans too quickly. We said that our batters batted outside our roles and that wasn't acceptable. With our bowling, we went outside our plans far too quickly. We wanted to bowl hard lengths, hit the top of off stump.
"It was tough to score then. We did that in the first six, and then [Usman Khan] Shinwari decided to come around the wicket and bowl a bouncer with fine leg up. And from there it just tumbled. We're going to sit down and talk about that. It's not good enough. We went outside our plans. That's not acceptable. I think there was a bit of panic when they didn't strike early."
It wasn't just Usman's poor outing that concerned Arthur. He was also mindful of the growing pressure on Mohammad Amir, whose struggle for wickets since last year's Champions Trophy is becoming an Achilles heel, but was encouraged by what he saw in the six overs Amir bowled.
"I'd be lying if I sat here and said there wasn't [any concern about Amir]," he said. "I had a really good, long hard chat with him last night and I thought he came out and bowled really well. He hit the crease really hard. He ran in well. He's been decelerating to the crease, but he didn't do that today. Today he seemed more fluent, there was a little bit more pace there. And I was comfortable [with what he did], he bowled well tonight. There is pressure on him, of course there is."
With the assessment of his team done, Arthur was asked how an attack that almost failed to defend 286 against Hong Kong just the previous day transformed itself. Arthur put this down to the Bumrah factor.
"You see what a difference Bumrah makes to their attack," he said. "I thought their spinners bowled better, their lengths were far better than they were last night [v Hong Kong]. So I think they were better for the hit out. As far us, whenever we go head-to-head with India, I am comfortable that we've got a dressing room of players who can stand up to it. I am comfortable we've got a dressing room of players who, on any given day, can win. So I still think it's a 50-50. Lucky this game was inconsequential in the tournament."