Pakistan had a shocking 0-3 defeat against a second-string Sri Lankan side in the latest T20I series played at home and it has left the No.1 side in the format in complete disarray. While captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has come under the heat, the new coaching crew led by head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has found itself in an abyss of disappointment. Misbah has even conceded after the defeat that there is something seriously wrong with Pakistan’s cricketing system.
The morning, however, was more than hopeful in this historic series. Pakistan won the three-ODI series in Karachi 2-0 and looked favourites to replicate the performance in the T20Is. But led by a new captain in Dasun Shanaka, the islanders scripted a magnificent turnaround in the shortest format to hand the No.1 side its second successive series defeat (they lost 1-2 to South Africa in February). They also lost their one-off T20I against England in May.
Former Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper Rashid Latif said after the loss that Sarfaraz should take a break from international cricket to regain his form. In a video, he said, “When you are under pressure, then I believe one should avoid one or two games. This is the same thing I said to Kamran Akmal to take a rest for four, five months but no one wants to take the rest,” Business Recorder reported.
Sarfaraz had a quiet time with the bat in both the ODI and T20I series and especially in the 20-over format, he failed to rise on a single occasion to see his team making a successful chase. Pakistan lost their three games by 64 runs, 35 runs and 13 runs, respectively. Sarfaraz promoted himself up the batting order to No.4 in each of the T20Is but could manage the highest score of 26. For Latif, it was not convincing either.
Latif criticizes Sarfaraz going up the batting order
“Skipper Sarfaraz doesn’t seem confident at all, and is not doing well with the bat as well so going at number four was not a wise decision,” Latif, 50, said, adding that the captain was also struggling with his keeping as a number of chances went begging.
The former cricketer also said that the new team management hasn’t yet gelled well with the players and also appealed to the Pakistan Cricket Board to set up new pitches.