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Pakistan need to depend less on Babar Azam to win matches, says Misbah-ul-Haq

The Men in Green's batting found it tough to get going in the first two T20Is versus Lanka.

Misbah-ul-Haq
Misbah-ul-Haq. (Photo by Jason O’Brien/Getty Images)

Pakistan started well in the home series against Sri Lanka by winning the ODI series 2-0. But they soon fell flat as the second-string Lankan side humbled them in the T20I series that followed by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-game series. Head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq asked the team to rise to the occasion and not depend too much on Babar Azam to win them games.

Babar, the team’s vice-captain, did well in the ODI series but failed to live up to the expectations of being the No.1 batsman in the shortest format. The Men in Green failed to make their chases a successful one on both occasions in Lahore, losing by 64 and 35 runs, respectively. Pakistan are currently ranked No.1 in T20Is but they lost to Lanka, who are ranked eighth in the format.

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‘Babar didn’t score in the two games and we were exposed’

“We became number one in T20Is but if you dig deeper, our only strength was Babar Azam’s runs and he didn’t score in two games and we’ve been exposed. I think we need to find six match-winners, not one,” Misbah was quoted as saying by www.cricketpakistan.com.pk. Babar scored 13 and 3 in the two matches, respectively.

“Until you don’t have that powerhouse in the middle-order and a powerhouse at the top-order for the powerplay, you can’t do well. Similarly, in the bowling powerplay if you can’t get wickets and then in the death overs you can’t finish well, you struggle and I think we have failed in all departments.”

“It’s an eye opener. We need to look at these things. If we were doing well, we couldn’t do that here. Our strong points didn’t deliver. We need to find other players, how long can you rely on one or two batsmen?” Misbah, a former Pakistan captain, added.

The Pakistan team management also came under criticism for bringing back players like Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad in the T20Is. Both failed to impress with Umar falling for golden ducks on both occasions. Misbah urged the fans to hold patience with the duo.

He said there are problems that can’t be fixed overnight and conceded that while he is answerable to make the team, he also needed time to do it and also there is a requirement to do experiments to get the right answers. The final T20I will be played in Lahore on Wednesday.

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