Misbah bewildered by Pakistan’s poor performance

October 11, 2019

LAHORE    -     Pakistan cricket team head coach Misbah-ul Haq has said that he is bewildered by the way his side played against a second-string Sri Lanka team, which outplayed them in every department. With this 3-0 Pakistan drubbing, young Sri Lankan cricket team has created history for beating Pakistan for the first time in T20 cricket history. They were playing without their big stars, but they totally outclassed the hosts with their fighting skills and outstanding performances.

Speaking at the post-match press conference here at Gaddafi Stadium, Misbah said: “The young Sri Lankans set an example for us by beating us in every department. In all the three T20s, Lankan won the games in almost one-sided fashion leaving us in tatters and with lots of questions to answer. “It is true that we played very poor cricket and I accept the responsibility. But what I am still thinking is that what happened to the same side, which is number one team in T20 rankings as the same set of players have been playing for the team since long and their contributions brought the team on top of the rankings,” he added.

The head coach said: “It’s not that the top-order batsmen were being selfish and 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. “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 wristspinner Wanindu Hasaranga. We didn’t pick his googly whereas they played our spinner nicely and batted well,” he added.

When asked if the series loss was because of a strategy shift in the dressing room since former head coach Mickey Arthur left, Misbah said: “I haven’t done anything in the last 10 days that could have deterred anything. If you want to put responsibility on me you can, but in this brief time since I took over, how big a difference could I have created with my coaching. “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? In terms of strategy, nothing really has changed but I am thinking what went wrong,” he added.

“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 but in this series, they were not able to execute things well with the bat, ball and fielding. They totally failed in all the departments,” he asserted. Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed then came to the rescue of his coach and brushed aside any change of strategy or thought process in the T20 format.  “In Sri Lanka T20 series, everything is the same in our planning but the difference was our performance on the ground,” he said.

“We were not able to apply ourselves, we didn’t click at the right time, we were not able to clinch the key moments. We shouldn’t have let them cross the 150-mark but we did, we did not capitalise in the middle overs, we dropped catches… so all this played a part. “Whether it’s the last management or this, our message to the players was clear and almost the same. It’s then the responsibility of the captain and players to deliver at the ground. But we didn’t perform. There are good and bad days for almost everyone but we have to learn quickly from this. We have to regroup and stand together again and it will be good if we get our momentum back as soon as possible,” he added.

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