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Misbah defends Shehzad, Akmal despite twin failures

Misbah defends Shehzad, Akmal despite twin failures
Ahmed Shehzad failed to grab his chance, scoring four in the first game and 13 in the second (AP)

Lahore - Misbah said both the batsmen were given a chance on the basis of their consistent performances in domestic cricket



By IANS

Published: Tue 8 Oct 2019, 7:19 PM

Last updated: Tue 8 Oct 2019, 9:29 PM

Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq defended selecting Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal for the T20I series against Sri Lanka despite the two batsmen's failure in the first two matches.
Having lost the first game by 64 runs, Pakistan batsmen failed to find their top gear once again as they went down by 35 runs in the second match, giving a depleted Sri Lankan team an unassailable lead in the three-match series in Lahore.
The mercurial Akmal had two straight first-ball ducks, while Shehzad too failed to grab his chance, scoring four in the first game and 13 in the second.
But Misbah said both the batsmen were given a chance on the basis of their consistent performances in domestic cricket.
"Shehzad's performance in PSL was excellent. Akmal's performance in all formats in domestic cricket was very good," Misbah was quoted as saying by www.cricketpakistan.com.pk.
"Unfortunately in our circuit, we have no other batsman in T20s who gave performances like them," he said. "I think that any player who is out of the team should get a chance again, if he performs. We gave that chance on that basis but they didn't perform. All we can do is give them a chance."
Misbah also urged the team to step up and not depend only on Babar Azam to get the runs after their harrowing series defeat.
"We became number one in T20Is but if you dig deeper, our only strength was Babar Azam's runs and he didn't score in two games and we've been exposed. I think we need to find six match-winners, not one," he said.
"Until you don't have that powerhouse in the middle-order and a powerhouse at the top-order for the powerplay, you can't do well. Similarly in the bowling powerplay, if you can't get wickets and then in the death overs you can't finish well, you struggle and I think we have failed in all departments.
"It's an eye opener. We need to look at these things. If we were doing well, we couldn't do that here. Our strong points didn't deliver. We need to find other players, how long can you rely on one or two batsmen?" he added.
The head coach accepted responsibility for the twin defeats and said he needed to find solutions to the problems hampering the side.
"You are seeing problems with the team and I am also seeing them. We need to resolve these. It's not something that can be fixed overnight. It takes some time to fix these things," he said.
"Obviously I am answerable but to make a team, you need some time and to do that, you do some experiments. Only then do you get the answers to your questions. A lot of things are in front of us and we need to find solutions."
The third T20I will also be played at the Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.
 


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