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October 13, 2019

Unexpected results


October 13, 2019

After winning the ODI series against touring inexperienced Sri Lanka team in Karachi, it was very much expected that Pakistan will clean sweep in the Twenty20 format as the Green-shirts are number one team in the ICC Twenty20 team ranking.

But young Sri Lankans shocked the Green-shirts by completing a 3-0 whitewash in the series. It was Pakistan’s first T20 series defeat against Sri Lanka and first T20 series defeat on their home ground.

The reasons were wrong selection, batting and bowling failure, lack of planning and some outclass performances by the islanders.

There was a clear difference between the two teams. Despite being inexperienced, Sri Lankans were disciplined and did everything right, while Pakistan completely failed in all departments in front of their home crowd.

Pakistan have had a prolific run in the last two years in T20Is, winning 21 of their 29 matches, five of which have come in the last nine months.

Pakistan had never faced a whitewash in a three-match T20 series. Sri Lanka had never won a three-match series 3-0 in the format. The Sri Lankans achieved this feat without their key players such as Lasith Malinga, Kausal, Mendis and Perera.

Pakistan need to find out five or six match-winning and dependable batsmen, especially some power hitters at the top who can utilise the first six overs of power play. Pakistan also lacked good finishers.

We also need bowlers who can take wickets on regular basis in the early overs and can choke flow of runs in the death overs.

Babar Azam, the No 1 batsman in T20Is, has played a crucial role in Pakistan’s wins in last 24 months by scoring 858 runs in 22 innings at 47.66 and strike rate of nearly 127. In this series, Babar scored only 43 runs. The failure of Babar at the top in the T20I series against Sri Lanka exposed the top order, especially during a chase.

The problem with our team is clear. We simply have failed to bring in new talent. There is no lack of talent in the country. We need to discover it in time and give it proper coaching and chances.

Head Coach and Chief Selector Misbah-ul-Haq should understand that T20 leagues are just entertainment, not cricket. Some players are born for domestic leagues. They don’t have the temperament of international cricket. They can’t play in pressure conditions. Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad are among them.

Shehzad scored 4 and 13 in two games, while Umar was dismissed for golden ducks in both matches.

Overall Pakistani batting failed miserably. The home side batsmen hit 32 fours and five sixes, while young Sri Lankan batsmen hit 42 boundaries and 15 sixes. Bhanuka Rajapasksa hit eight sixes alone.

Only four fifties were scored in three matches. Three were scored by the Sri Lankans. Haris Sohail scored the only half century from Pakistan.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa was the most successful batsman of the T20I series with 112 runs, averaging 37.33, at a strike rate of 143.58.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was the highest scorer for Pakistan with 67 runs which he scored at a strike rate of just over 108.

Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga took eight wickets in the series, averaging 9.87. Mohammad Hasnain and Mohammad Amir took three scalps each, averaging 25.33 and 30.66, respectively.

Shadab Khan failed to live up to the expectations, too. He took only two wickets in three matches at a high average of 52.50 and an economy rate of 8.75.

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