Pakistan's stand-in skipper Shadab Khan has said that the national side's defeat in the first-ever T20I series against Afghanistan is likely to ensure that the country's senior players like Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan get the respect they deserve.
Afghanistan trumped Pakistan by seven wickets in the second T20I, sealing a historic series win in Sharjah on Sunday.
The two teams are set to meet in the third and final T20I today at the same venue.
In a post-match presser on Sunday, Shadab said that while he supported experiments, players' experience is crucial.
"We criticise our players a lot. We criticised Babar and Rizwan on their strike rate. We all wanted to give chance to youngsters on the basis of their PSL performance. I back doing experiments but experience matters a lot," said the stand-in skipper.
"Our senior players didn't get the respect they deserve. Be it the media or people, everyone criticised them. I think after this series, they will get due respect," he added.
Babar and Rizwan often remain under a lot of criticism for their strike rate in T20Is. The opening pair led Pakistan to several victories since 2021.
After the regime change in Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), there were a lot of talks regarding resting main players keeping in mind the ICC World Cup year.
The PCB decided to rest its main players including captain Babar, Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, and Haris Rauf during the series against Afghanistan.
A young squad led by Shadab took the challenge against Afghanistan who played with their full strength. Pakistan's inexperienced batting line collapsed in the first two T20Is which cost them the series.
Afghanistan beat Pakistan 2-0, with a match to go, to register its first-ever series win against the neighbours.
Pakistan will next face New Zealand in the five-match T20I series at home next month. Main players including Babar, Rizwan, and others are likely to return to the squad.
Meanwhile, New Zealand announced their squad for the T20I series against Pakistan. Their main players missed out due to their participation in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
New Zealand's T20I squad: Tom Latham (c, wk), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Cole McConchie, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Will Young
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