ISLAMABAD: Pakistan bowling coach Umar Gul blamed sudden change in conditions and lack of preparations ahead of the three-match series as main causes of a shocking defeat against Afghanistan in the...
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan bowling coach Umar Gul blamed sudden change in conditions and lack of preparations ahead of the three-match series as main causes of a shocking defeat against Afghanistan in the opening T20 International of the three-match series in Sharjah on Friday night.
In a post-match video message, Gul, who also worked as the Afghanistan team bowling coach for a couple of years, said that his team was taken by surprise by a tricky pitch.
“We played PSL on totally different pitches but here at Sharjah we did not get any real opportunity to train. The going was totally different. All our batsmen struggled to stay for long at the wicket,” he said.
The new-look Pakistan team failed to score even 100 while opting to bat first with no one being able to score 20 with the likes of Abdullah Shafique and Azam Khan failing to open their accounts altogether.
“It was never an easy pitch, such pitches required preparations and extra efforts to adjust. Unfortunately we did not get an opportunity to train for such pitches ahead of the series.”
Gul said that there was a lot to play for in the series. “The series is still alive with two matches to go. We would definitely bounce back as we have some exciting performers with us who would now be in a better position to perform.
They know about the track much better now and hopefully would play accordingly in the remaining two matches. We will bounce back and try to win the series by winning the next two matches.”
Gul praised the team's bowling performance on a track that has virtually become a home turf for the Afghanistan team now. “I think we bowled brilliantly with Ihsanullah leading the way. We put Afghanistan on the rack for early part of their chase and had it not been for some misses, the match was in our grasp at one stage. I think all the bowlers bowled well and according to the conditions of the track. As a bowling coach I am completely satisfied with the bowling performance and am hopeful that they would be in a much better frame of mind for the next two matches.”
Gul predicted a strong comeback from the Greenshirts in the T20 series and cautioned the opponents against taking the new-look team lightly. “You cannot write off the team on the result of just one match. Majority of players are new but have great potential.
They are capable of delivering and have shown that in the PSL in the company of the world's best. I am confident that the Pakistan team will bounce back strongly. Coaches have already talked to players as to what is required for such a track. Things will be much better for the rest of the series.”