One failure doesn’t warrant panic: Misbah defends Akmal, Shehzad

Misbah defended the two cricketers after they received backlash on social media.

By Web Desk
October 07, 2019
Misbah defended the two cricketers after they received backlash on social media.Photo: AFP

Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has defended the selection of batsmen Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad, saying that the duo were recalled on the basis of their domestic performances and cannot be dropped after just one failure.

The pair, who had been discarded under Mickey Arthur’s regime, were thrown a lifeline after Misbah took over. They both played in the opening T20I against Sri Lanka on Saturday but both failed; Akmal was out on a golden duck while Shehzad fared little better, contributing a measly four runs to the team’s losing cause.

The much-maligned batsmen, forever the easy targets, naturally caught a lot of flak on social media, but instead of throwing them under the bus, Misbah came to their rescue.

“Ahmed Shehzad had performed incredibly well in the PSL,” Misbah said in a press conference on Sunday. “We wanted to give him another chance so that we could end our over-reliance on a select few and ready other players.

“This is exactly why Iftikhar Ahmed and Umar are playing. When you try out players, you also need to be a bit patient. We should not be too harsh on the players. There is no need to issue judgements after just one innings.

“Just take a look at Umar Akmal’s performance over the past year. Everyone was saying that he should get a chance when he’s scored runs in all formats. He scored a century in the four-day final. The ODI event that Habib Bank won, he was their leading runs scorer. His teams won both the PSL and the domestic T20 tournament.”

“So if you’ve brought someone on the basis of that, then it’s unfair to press the panic button after just one match,” Misbah added.

The head coach reminded the critics that the current Pakistan side has been experimented with just so that new options and combinations could be created for the next year’s T20 World Cup.

“When we try out players with an eye on future, especially the World Cup, then these experiments are important. This is when a surprising situation like this can arise. But we are clear on how we want to try and set players,” he added.