Misbah-ul-Haq distances himself from Pakistan's T20 decline

Web Desk
Misbah-ul-Haq addresses a press conference in Lahore. Photo: PCB

Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday defended Pakistan cricket team’s performance under him, saying that while the team may have slipped from number one to number four in T20 ranking, the slide had begun long before he took the seat.

Misbah, at a press conference in Lahore, reviewed the team’s recent tour of England and addressed several other topics.

“Of course, the team was number one but if you recall, when I came even then the team was on a losing streak. The team had already lost in South Africa, England and other places. The slide had already begun and everyone knows why that was.

“Some of our players were out of form. Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan and then Hasan Ali, the main contributors to our rise up the ranking, when they went into a slump the team also felt that dip. We’re trying to take these and new boys back towards that level.”

Misbah’s charges left it until their last match of the England tour to get their first and only win, and while that result might not silence his critics, the man himself says he’s satisfied with the direction the team’s taking under him.

“There is always room for improvement. Yes, the current results may not be what’s desired but overall the process is up to my satisfaction and it seems that we are on the right track,” he said.

'Young pacers need time'

However, Misbah asked critics to go light on the team’s young pace battery, saying that mistakes made as seen in the first Test defeat are part of the learning curve and inevitable.

“The bowlers are inexperienced. We’d have to give them room and opportunities. If you take that one session out, it becomes evident that our inexperience made up panic. The same thing happened in the second T20 when a bowler of ours got injured, we panicked slightly. With the passage of time as they play more, they will improve,” he said.

READ: Misbah remains accountable, will be questioned soon, says Ehsan Mani

The coach also talked about the presence of the nearly 40-year-olds Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.

“It’s too early to write off someone because of their age. There is a lot of time between now and the World Cup. We will try out different combinations till then and identify our best 15,” he said.

While Misbah was away with the team in England, a slew of appointments at domestic level were made, which as per some reports, had not impressed Misbah, who purportedly wasn’t consulted.

Misbah admitted that he wasn’t kept in the loop but intends to discuss the domestic business with National High Performance Centre Director Nadeem Khan.

“I was busy with the team there so could not get involved in the matters here. But now I’d sit with Nadeem Khan and discuss how things were done and how they could be done even better. When you’re in a professional setup, the names do not bother anyone," he said. 

"You have to work together and adjust. It doesn’t matter what anyone has said in the past. If you keep the past in the mind then you wouldn’t be able to work." 

Misbah-ul-Haq distances himself from Pakistan's T20 decline