Friday Apr 23, 2021
Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik lashed out at the cricket team's management after the green shirts suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe in the second T20I on Friday.
Pakistan's batting line collapsed like a house of cards at Harare in the second T20 match against Zimbabwe. The green shirts had restricted Zimbabwe to 118 runs and looked set to win the series.
However, not a single batsman was able to score a half-century and the middle order collapsed, triggering Pakistan's defeat. The entire team was sent to the pavilion with Pakistan managing only 99 runs on the scoreboard and Zimbabwe winning their first ever T20I against Pakistan by 19 runs.
Malik took to Twitter to imply that the team's captain and chief selector were not being allowed to "call the shots".
"Unacquainted decision makers need to take a step back; Babar & chief selector need to call the shots. In my opinion we need an international white ball coach who understands cricket inside out & grooms our captain whilst giving clarity to our players for coming time...," he tweeted.
In a subsequent tweet, the former captain accused Pakistan cricket team management of relying "on likes & dislikes", adding that Pakistan was bound to suffer humiliating defeats if the captain is not allowed to take the lead in decision-making.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said the team's performance was disappointing and as the T20I World Cup approaches, the defeat against Zimbabwe was an eye-opener.
"We chased 200 against South Africa, so we should have chased  runs here. However, we ... played poor cricket," the skipper said in a video posted on Twitter by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The skipper said not only had the middle order collapsed, but the team's batsmen were not able to put up a good performance as they used to in the past.
"The entire batting order had collapsed today and we should give credit to Zimbabwe for their comeback," the skipper said.
The captain said the wicket was the same as the last match — where Pakistan defeated Zimbabwe — and noted that the blame cannot be shifted to the pitch.
"[Blaming the pitch is no excuse] as a professional player adapts to his environment. Our middle order struggled throughout the match and we will try to step up their game," he said.