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Misbah

T20I defeats to Sri Lanka 'a big eye-opener' – Misbah-ul-Haq

Pak v SL, 2nd T20I, reaction

Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq conceded that defeat to Sri Lanka in the first two Twenty20 Internationals has been a wake up call for the team, which is placed No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings.

Pakistan have been humbled twice in Lahore, losing the first game by 64 runs and the second by 35 runs, to a Sri Lanka side missing some of their top players, such as Lasith Malinga, Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews.

Coach Misbah said the defeats were indicative of a 'deficiency in every department.' "Losing is never good, especially against a team that is without their major players, and it's an eye-opener," Misbah, the team's head coach and chief selector, said.

"We can see a deficiency in every department: bowling, batting, and particularly the way we got out against spin, and also our death bowling.

Worryingly for Pakistan, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad, who were recalled for the series, have failed on each occasion. Babar Azam, who is No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Batting Rankings, has also endured rare failures, which has exposed the frailties of Pakistan's batting. Misbah defended the decision to bring back Akmal and Shehzad, but insisted that experimentation was needed to discover a larger pool of match-winning batsmen.

"There are a lot of reasons for this experimentation," Misbah said. "Yes, we are the No. 1 team in the world, but mostly our strength has been standing on Babar Azam scoring runs, and with him not scoring in two games, we are exposed badly.

"We need to find out six or more match-winners, we need to have more dependable batsmen, we need powerhouses in the top and middle, and in the bowling, we need to take wickets upfront and in the death overs and we need to have good finishers.

"But we failed overall, we are struggling in every department, and it's a big eye-opener for us. We didn't play to our strengths and couldn't deliver. We are looking for more batsmen, rather than just relying on one or two."

The third and final T20I takes place on Wednesday, 10 October, at the same venue.

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