Salman Butt has slammed Pakistani batters, saying he has no idea how the Babar Azam-led side failed to read Wanindu Hasaranga’s variations during their Asia Cup fixture against Sri Lanka on Friday. Hasaranga returned figures of 3-21 to help Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 5 wickets ahead of their final.
Ahead of their all-important Asia Cup final, Pakistan were bundled out for just 121 in 19.1 overs against Sri Lanka on Friday. Dasun Shanaka and Co. produced an inspiring bowling performance, led by Wanindu Hasaranga before they rode on Pathum Nissanka's unbeaten 48-ball 55 to see off the target with three overs to spare.
Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt expressed his disappointment after his side endured a humiliating defeat just two days ahead of their summit clash. Butt particularly mentioned how poor Pakistani batters were, especially after they failed to read Hasaranga's variations. He felt that considering Pakistani players practice in 'tape-ball cricket' throughout their lives, they could have easily tackled them better.
"The way Pakistan’s batters got out was quite disappointing. They've been playing tape-ball cricket their entire lives. How can they not read Hasaranga’s variations from the finger? Straight finger means the ball will spin away, and behind the hand means the delivery will come in. Iftikhar Ahmed could not read a googly in an earlier match. In this game as well, he couldn’t pick the variation," Butt explained on his YouTube channel.
"The kind of shots Pakistan batters played, I won’t call it a bad day for them. I would describe it as very poor shot selection. We could have said it was a bad day for them if they had some poor luck. However, batters were getting dismissed due to their inability to pick bowlers’ variations."
Further, Butt remarked Pakistan must make a few changes in the final to secure the title, and at the same time, they must improve their batting as well.
"I am sure Pakistan will be a different team in the final. They will come in with a different attitude. Having said that, there are serious batting concerns. Pakistan have won games by showing brilliance in patches. There has been no wholesome performance," Butt added.
The Sri Lanka versus Pakistan final will be played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai on Sunday.