ISLAMABAD: Disappointed with Pakistan team’s poor performance against a second-string Sri Lankan side who beat them 2-0 in the three-match Twenty20 home series, former skipper Ramiz Raja believes the green-shirts need a power-hitting coach to correct the players’ direction in the game’s shortest format.
Pakistan were stunned by Sri Lanka who won the first T20 International by 64 runs at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium under lights on Saturday. The hosts went short by 36 runs in the second game at the same venue on Monday.
“Misbah-ul-Haq has been over burdened after he was handed the coaching responsibilities of all formats. I feel we need to bring in a power-hitting coach for the shorter format, to correct the direction of the players,” Ramiz said on his YouTube channel.
Ramiz said the ICC Twenty20 World Cup was a few games away and if Pakistan won’t select the right players for the game then the team would be troubled in the tournament.
“The result of the T20 series [against Sri Lanka] was expected as Pakistan team was stressed after the losing the first game. Many old players were recalled in the T20 team but were unable to deliver under pressure,” he lamented.
Ramiz reckoned said to open batting from Babar Azam was a mistake. He however lauded Imad Wasim’s performance both with the bat and ball. “Haris Sohail must be played at No. 4 as Sarfraz Ahmed is not in good form,” he said.
Ramiz was of the view that Pakistan should bring in youth in the shorter format as T20 cricket was a young man’s game. “We just hit two sixes in the second T20 game whereas Sri Lanka hit eight,” he underlined.
According to Ramiz, Pakistan’s bowling “totally failed in the game as we were struggling badly”. We don’t have any bowler who can take wickets,” he said.
Meanwhile, former skipper and record-breaking Pakistan batsman Younis Khan, said, “We should improve our cricket structure to identify players. I was identified in the U-16 team by former cricketer late Taslim Arif. We need people like him in Pakistan cricket,” he said. Former pacer Shoaib Akhtar said it seemed like Pakistan’s B team was playing against Sri Lanka. “Losing the T20 series is embarrassing. Giving the responsibility to only one person to save money would not lead to improvement,” he said.
Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2019