Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has admitted that the Twenty20 team rely too much on batsman Babar Azam.
Misbah’s comments come after Pakistan were beaten by 35 runs in the second Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in Lahore on Monday.
Sri Lanka’s victory gave them an unassailable 2-0 series lead going into the third and final match of the series.
Azam has been Pakistan’s most consistent batsman as of late, and has been superb in Twenty20 Internationals, where he averages 50.52 after 32 matches.
However, Misbah conceded that Pakistan’s over-reliance on Azam, who has scored 13 and three in the first two Twenty20 Internationals, has been brought to light in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka since no other batsmen have stood up and showed they can win matches.
In addition to match-winners, Misbah noted that Pakistan also lack bowlers that can take wickets up front and in the death overs.
“There are a lot of reasons for this experimentation,” Misbah was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Yes, we are the No. 1 team in the world but mostly our strength has been standing on Babar Azam scoring runs and with him not scoring in two games, we are exposed badly. We need to find out six or more match-winners, we need to have more dependable batsmen, we need powerhouses in the top and middle, and in bowling we need to take wickets upfront and in the death overs and we need to have good finishers.
“But we failed overall, we are struggling in every department, and it’s a big eye-opener for us. We didn’t play to our strengths and couldn’t deliver. We are looking for more batsmen rather than just relying on one or two.”