During the third T20I of ongoing Sri Lanka’s tour of Pakistan in Lahore, Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 13 runs to whitewash the No. 1 ranked T20I team. Touring without their main players, Sri Lanka dominating the hosts spoke highly about their skills on display in this series.
Major aftermath of the series loss has come in the form of severe criticism for Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Right from the time the team management included Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal into the Playing XI, people started to find faults with the combination especially after the duo flopped in the first two matches. It was due to the same reason that both the senior players were benched from the last match at the Gadaffi Stadium.
Addressing the reporters during the post-series press conference, Misbah was asked reasons about not including opening batsman Abid Ali in place of Fakhar Zaman in the T20I squad. The reporter asked if Zaman was given a life visa after his match-winning century against India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Misbah, who seemed agitated from the kind of questions he was receiving, finally lost his cool when asked about Zaman’s exclusion. The 45-year old backed his justification with stats for and against Zaman and Abid Ali respectively.
“Check the record before asking any question. If Fakhar Zaman has only scored one century, then how he averages 47 [46.61] in ODIs? Had he scored only once a century, his average would have been 10 by now.
“There’s no doubt that Abid Ali is a wonderful batsman. His ODI strike rate [97.44] is good. But he will have to prove himself in T20s before earning a maiden call-up. His T20 average and strike rate is 20 [21.57] and 104 [102.74] respectively. If I pick someone with such numbers, you guys will shoot me,” Misbah was quoted as saying.
Sarfaraz Ahmed's reaction to this question 😀
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) October 10, 2019
While Zaman’s ODI numbers have received a dip this year, he showed signs of regaining form by scoring consecutive half-centuries in the recently concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka in Karachi.
It is worth mentioning that the shortest format is something which the southpaw needs to work upon. In the last 12 months, Zaman has scored 108 runs in 10 T20Is at an average of 10.80 and a strike rate of 113.68.