KARACHI: Former head coach Mohsin Khan blamed irresponsible batting and a lack of planning for Pakistan’s poor start to the opening Test against New Zealand in Christchurch.
After the opening day was washed out, Pakistan were bowled out for a meagre 133 on the second day with Kiwi debutant Colin de Grandhomme running riot with a six-wicket haul.
Misbahul Haq, captaining Pakistan for a record 50th time, was the top scorer with his 31-run knock. Only three other batsmen — Sami Aslam (19), Azhar Ali (15) and Asad Shafiq (16) — managed to reach double figures.
And Mohsin was heavily critical of the way the team so easily surrendered. “Good teams perform well in challenging conditions but Pakistan frustrated in their first innings,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune. “Everybody knew the conditions would be challenging but the team did not go into the match with any proper planning.”
He went on to criticise the batsmen’s shot selection. “Most of the batsmen played irresponsible shots; they knew the conditions were going to be tough, yet they played unnecessarily expansive drives and gifted their wickets.”
The former head coach also took a swipe at the team management over the batting order.
“It’s beyond me that we are still without specialist openers. The team management seems unclear of what they are doing. They selected Sharjeel [Khan] as an opener but did not play him, while Azhar is repeatedly being asked to open despite clearly being uncomfortable there.”
He further added, “Instead of putting seniors in pressure situations first, we sent an inexperienced Babar Azam at one-down; a terrible idea. Misbah fought well but he should have scored at a better pace.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2016.
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