After coming up with a spirited performance in the four-match Test series against hosts England in July 2016, Pakistan, who are also the top-ranked Test nation, have not been able to repeat their performances in the 50-over format of the game.
The Azhar Ali-led side, after losing four straight one-day internationals, is in danger of facing a 5-0 whitewash against hosts England. The visitors have had no answers to a supreme all-round display from England, who have shattered batting records in the series.
The paltry show will affect the ODI ratings of the ninth-ranked side, who are now in danger of losing a chance to qualify automatically for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Only the top-eight sides earn their berths while the other two spots will be decided in a qualifying event in Bangladesh in 2018.
While India-Pakistan clashes at the showpiece events have been labelled as one of the fiercest rivalries in sports, coach Mickey Arthur, who assumed charge of the Pakistan side before the England tour, does not want to play down the chances of a World Cup without the 1992 champions.
"It is what it is. I hate the phrase, but we are number nine in the world and we can see why," Arthur told AFP, as quoted by cricketnext.com.
Pakistan have been able to win only one ODI in the seven they have played so far in 2016. After being crushed by New Zealand in January, Pakistan defeated Ireland in August. Their form in the shortest format of the game has also been a reflection of their ODI form. The Shahid Afridi-led side received a lot of flak after their disastrous Asia Cup Twenty20 and World Twenty20 campaigns in 2016. The side was forced to undergo drastic changes, which included the sacking of the selection committee and a few regulars of the team of the likes of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal.
Pakistan now have two ODI series lined up against West Indies, one against Australia and Bangladesh each to repair the damage before the September 2017 deadline. Arthur feels they have a mountain to climb before reaching a safe zone.
"When I saw the fixture list, the games aren't easy. We have got two series against West Indies that we have to play well in -- West Indies are a decent one-day outfit. Between them we are sandwiched with an ODI series in Australia which is incredibly tough," he maintained.
Pakistan's fortunes have swung within a span of few weeks. The mood in the ODI camp will be completely different to the one that prevailed in the Misbah-ul-Haq-led side, which stole the show not just with its cricketing skills but with the off-the-field theatrics after clinching victories in the recently concluded Test series.
The 48-year-old former South African cricketer though feels he needs more time to assess and rebuild a strong Pakistan ODI side.
"I am finding my way with the one-day team. I want to give guys opportunities and then we'll know by the end of the tour who we can and can't take forward," he said.