Pakistan vs Sri Lanka | Misbah defends himself as blame-game begin after T20 series loss
After losing the T20I series 3-0 to a weak and inexperienced Sri Lankan side, chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq faced huge criticism while facing the media. Ranked as the No. 1 side in the world in T20Is, Pakistan has had a dismal 2019 in the shortest format along with an equally bad ICC World Cup campaign.
With a new selector and coach at the helm, the remodelled domestic setup and keeping faith in Sarfaraz as captain, Pakistan have embarked on a new journey to improve performances in ICC tournaments.
Speaking to the media, Misbah shrugged off the blame-game keeping in mind the betterment of Pakistan cricket.
"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 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 blamed the slowness of the pitch for the batsmen’s failure. According to him, even the genius of Babar Azam couldn’t help save Pakistan as he wasn’t able to time the ball himself.
"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.
But he didn’t take anything away from the Sri Lankan bowlers, specially Wanindu Hasaranga, who bamboozled the experienced Pakistan batsmen with his variations.
"It's unfair to say that both (Babar and Haris) 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."
After winning the series 2-0, Pakistan lost the three T20Is by margins of 64, 35 and 13 runs, respectively.