Pakistan head coach and selector Misbah-ul-Haq has been defending his coaching stint after his team suffered a huge defeat in the T20I against the young Sri Lankan players.
“Maybe I did something? Probably I made our right-hand batsmen switch to left-handed batting or maybe made our right-handers bowl with the left arm or vice-versa?” – Misbah said.
Pakistan has reshuffled the entire team along with the staff but retained the Captain for the Sri Lankan tour. They have appointed a new head coach and tried desperately to bring cricket back home. In spite of a great struggle, the loss to Pakistan in the T20I has led to a drop in their confidence.
“It’s an example for us the way they have beaten us in every department. They won the games in an almost one-sided fashion leaving us in tatters and with lots of questions to answer. We played very poor cricket and definitely it’s my responsibility, but I am still thinking what really happened because these are the same set of players that have been playing for long and made team No. 1.” – Misbah said.
Being the new entity in the top-ranked team of T20I side in the world, Misbah has been questioned on how a top-ranked T20I side lost to the seventh-ranked side that too when it missed ten of its first-choice players.
“I haven’t done anything in the last 10 days that could have deterred anything. If you want to put the responsibility on me you can but, in this brief time since I took charge, how big a difference could I have created with my coaching. The strategy was simple: to cash in on the Powerplay and later go all out in the last five overs. These are the same players who took Pakistan on top [in the T20I rankings] but in this series they were not able to execute things well with the bat, ball and while fielding.” – Misbah explained.
Babar Azam, who was the reason for Pakistan to top the T20I format, was a huge disappointment in Pakistan. In the third T20I in Karachi, Babar got 27 off 32, his wicket leading to a collapse. Haris Sohail scored 52 but at a strike rate of only 104 in a run-chase climbing, concerning the required run rate with every dot ball.
“It’s not that they (the top-order batsmen) were being selfish, they were unable to adapt to the slowness of the pitch. They were trying to hit but weren’t able to which led to more dot balls and frustration. Babar wasn’t able to time the ball in all three innings.” – Misbah said.
“It’s unfair to say that both (Babar and Harris) were playing for themselves. Their position in the team is not uncertain and nobody is challenging their positions at the moment. It was Sri Lanka’s good bowling which never allowed our batsmen to adapt properly. A big factor has been the impact of their wrist-spinner (Wanindu Hasaranga). We didn’t pick his googly whereas they played our spinner nicely and batted well.” – Misbah added.