LAHORE: National cricket team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said there were multiple factors behind Pakistan’s defeats in New Zealand.
Talking to media at Gaddafi Stadium on Monday, Misbah admitted that the performance of the national team was not satisfactory. He said that strict COVID-19 protocols and multiple injuries and absence of captain Babar Azam were the major reasons for the disappointing performance during the New Zealand tour.
The former skipper said that lack of training impacted the performance against Kiwis. “Injury to Babar Azam was the biggest setback for us. It was a big loss for us, especially in Test cricket,” he said.
“We have to understand all factors. There can’t just be me behind the dip in performances. Nothing will change if one person leaves the system but we must address all the problems realistically,” he said.
Misbah took responsibility for the team’s defeat but wants critics to understand the reasons behind failures. “The players worked hard in the available resources and conditions after going through a tough quarantine in New Zealand,” he added.
“The novel coronavirus is somehow affecting the performances of players. It’s bothering them physically and mentally. It’s a big factor; we are worried about how to continue in these circumstances.
“COVID-19 has affected other teams like India and Sri Lanka too. Cricket is completely changing due to the virus but now we have to get accustomed to this,” he said. “Only Misbah cannot be held responsible for the failure,” he added.
The national team head coach hoped that the upcoming Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) cricket committee meeting was not to grill someone. Misbah and bowling coach Waqar Younis have been asked to appear before the board’s cricket committee.
“We can’t assume things. Obviously, we are there only to give report and recommendations. I hope it is not to grill someone,” he said. “Series analysis is very important and the cricket board has every right to do it,” Misbah said. “It’s a normal practice for me. I presented the performance review to BOG [Board of governors] earlier, too,” he said.
However, the former cricketer said that they need board’s confidence to continue. “We must not have communication gap. We obviously need board’s confidence and can’t have uncertainty because producing end results take time,” he said.
Misbah said that while the team failed in all three departments, he doesn’t doubt players’ commitment as everyone tried to give their best. “These are young players; they need time to improve,” he said. “We must accept that opposition was better than us in all three departments. We tried our best but they played better,” he said.
The former cricketer added that he is satisfied with his team selection during his tenure as the chief selector. On Mohammad Amir’s criticism, Misbah said there was nothing personal and he was not selected due to his poor performance.
“Amir’s recent performance was not up to the mark as compared to the other bowlers including Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain,” . “He is a quality bowler and if he plays and performs well, I will welcome him in the side,” he added.
“Mohammad Amir has his own opinion. I have always respected the players,” he said. “When he was inducted into the team in 2016 I supported him, I don’t know why he spoke about me like this.”
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