Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has pinpointed a number of reasons why the national team were demolished in the first Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in Lahore on Saturday.
Pakistan lost the match by 64 runs and put up a disappointing performance with the bat as they were skittled out for 101.
Ramiz pointed out that Pakistan shouldn’t have picked batsmen Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal for the match, in which they made four and a golden duck respectively.
Instead, Pakistan should have selected Fakhar Zaman and Haris Sohail, Ramiz noted.
“It was a very poor performance by Pakistan. The use of recycled players, like Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, distorted the team combination,” he said on his YouTube channel as quoted by cricketpakistan.com.pk. “Their inclusion created nothing but confusion. Also Fakhar Zaman would have been a better choice as opener, despite the dip in his form, and Haris Sohail should have been part of the team to provide stability to the middle order.”
He also feels that Sarfaraz Ahmed should bat lower after he scored a 30-ball 24 at number four.
He added that Safaraz should also not be concerned about losing the limited overs captaincy.
“Sarfaraz needs to realise that even if he does not score many runs in T20Is, it’s not the end of the world for him,” Ramiz said. “He is a misfit at number four position in the batting order and should bat at a lower position. Pakistan have an 80 percent winning ratio in T20Is, under Sarfaraz’s captaincy, which is why he should not be concerned about losing his captaincy in the shortest format of the game.”
Ramiz also feels that head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq should pick younger talents rather than reverting back to older players.
“Hasnain’s performance was a prime example of why you need young players to bring freshness in the side,” he said, referring to the fact that the 19-year-old took a hat-trick in the match. “Misbah is wrong in thinking that he can bring back old faces and prove that they are talented enough to be part of the side. The T20 World Cup is just 12 months away [and] the team needs to quickly get their act together.”
The second Twenty20 International will be held in Lahore on Monday.