Former cricketer Salman Butt has slammed the Pakistan national team for failing to provide out-of-form players playing time in warm-up games ahead of the 2021 T20 World Cup. On Monday, Babar Azam and company upset the West Indies by 7 wickets, chasing down 131 with as many as 27 balls to remain. Unfortunately, they were defeated by South Africa by a six-wicket margin.
Butt believes Pakistan should have made better use of the warm-up games before facing the major firearms in the Super 12s, which begin on 23 October. He suggested that the Men in Green might have taken an example from Team India, who used all of their men versus England and Australia regardless of the fact that their players were competing in the Indian Premier League.
India have utilized these warmup matches well: Salman Butt
“India have utilized these warmup matches well… they’ve given game time to everyone despite the fact that they’ve all played the IPL. If they had not done this and had played with their playing XI, even then we could have argued that ‘They haven’t played together as a team so are doing it now’. But even they didn’t do it”.
“I don’t know what insecurity we have that ‘someone else should not make runs in that position or someone else should not get that opportunity’. For God’s sake, you are the captain, you have to use your players, where will you do that?” Butt said.
Butt was concerned that if their captain, Babar Azam, and Mohammad Rizwan got out early, the remainder of the batting would struggle against the new ball.
“Can’t it happen that God forbid that you both [Babar and Rizwan] will get out in the first over? Then also someone will have to play against the new ball. See, Babar got out early here [against South Africa] na? Now, what is their mindset of going ahead? I don’t understand this strategy,” he added.
Pakistan were on course to win the match against the SA, who required 19 runs off the final over to victory. Rassie van der Dussen’s 51-ball 101, however, denied them to win. Hasan Ali let up 22 runs in his final over to lose the game.