Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has reckoned that his team’s middle-order batting in white-ball cricket lacks experience but credited the top order and bowling for excelling. Misbah also hit out at the critics, stating that it’s not their fault that the opposition isn’t fielding a strong team.
Babar Azam’s men are currently ranked fourth in the ICC rankings for T20 cricket, with wins over South Africa and Zimbabwe recently. Not just that, in both the series, their top-order came on top of the affairs, with a scintillating show as the rest of the batting unit faltered under the pressure.
In fact, in 2021, Mohammad Rizwan has scored 530 runs, at an average of 106 and a strike rate of 141.71. On the other hand, Babar Azam, who opened alongside Rizwan, has scored 305 runs for the Men in Green. While Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq was happy with the fact that their top-order and the bowling has come good, he wants the middle-order to show up in important games.
"Our middle order batting in white-ball (especially T20s) cricket lacks experience. Other teams are getting 200-plus scores regularly and so we're trying to up our strike-rate a bit. Unfortunately, the guys we've tried haven't clicked yet. But there are positives too. Our bowling and top-order batting has been really good. Yes there is area for improvement but the fact that we're still winning is a good sign for us," Misbah admitted, reported Cricbuzz.
Pakistan’s wins over South Africa and Zimbabwe have been discarded by many, who stated that they only did it because the other squads lacked strong players. However, Misbah put an end to this comment, stating that one can only look at their own performance and insisted that it is not their fault for the opposition fielding a weakened side.
"South Africa did miss their key players but they were playing at home. Also, their replacements were able performers," explained Misbah. "It's unfortunate that we couldn't face their best side but in their own conditions, they were a strong side. You can only look after your own performances. It's not our fault if the opposition isn't at full strength."
That was not it, Pakistan were at the ears of all criticism for fielding a 36-year-old seamer Tabish Khan, with the criticism surrounding how the country gives a debut to old players. Misbah, citing his own example, reckoned that fans must stop ‘predeterming’ the future of players and should also not judge players if they are late bloomers.
"We need to stop predetermining the future of players. I was captain at 36, I played for another seven years after that. We can't pre-judge that just because a player is 36 when he starts, he won't last long. Tabish has been performing in domestic cricket for years. Let's see how he does in international cricket.”
"We didn't give a chance to Tabish at the cost of hampering our strengths or team balance. It was a case of managing workload for Faheem [Ashraf] who has been an all-format player for us in recent times. He wasn't dropped at all. He is a key player for us. This was just an opportunity for us to test out a player who has been an excellent domestic performer. We have tried to give chances to the fringe players even in the shorter formats."