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‘Aapne pahle innings dekh li India ki…’: Misbah-ul-Haq criticizes Pakistan’s batting strategy after narrow loss to India | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has criticized the Pakistan team management following their narrow six-run defeat to India in the T20 World Cup match on Sunday. Despite a strong bowling performance that restricted India to just 119 runs, Pakistan’s batting lineup failed to capitalize, jeopardizing their chances of progressing in the tournament.
Misbah pointed out critical errors in Pakistan’s approach during the run chase, particularly the underutilization of middle-order batter Iftikhar Ahmed, who came in to bat at No.7 despite being the lone specialist batter in the middle order.
T20 World Cup Schedule | Points Table
“Middle order par confidence nahi hai. Seedhi si baat hai. Hum unko jis tarike se utilize karte hai, Iftikhar hai or jo bhi khelta hai middle order me. Hum jab unke number jis tarah se hai, run-a-ball bhi hai toh hum unko nahi bhejte. Saal me unki baari aati hai do, woh bhi aisi situation mein pariyaan dete hai ki. Aapne agar middle order ki batsmen khilaya hai toh bhai uska jo number hai usme aap kyun nahi bhej rahe usko,” Misbah said on Hum Sport.

Elaborating on the batting order decisions, Misbah questioned the rationale behind sending all-rounders ahead of Iftikhar on a challenging pitch in New York. He stressed that on such surfaces, where power hitting is less effective, situational assessment is crucial.
“Simple si baat hai, Iftikhar agar khel raha hai, batsman woh hena. Imad [Wasim] ussey pahle gaya, uske baad Shadab [Khan] ussey pahle gaya and he was the last. Aap unko 7th number par bhej rahe hai, aur yeh throughout chal raha hai. Aisi pitch par jahaan aapko pata hai power hitting ki jarurat nahi hai. Situation ko assess karne ki jarurat hai,” Misbah added.

Misbah also criticized Pakistan’s inability to learn from India’s innings, where their power hitters struggled to score.
“Aapne pahle innings dekh li India ki, once you have to score over run-a-ball aakhri 10 overs me woh bada mushkil hai. Humne isko 6 ya under 6 rakhna hai, iske uper le jaake, chahe unke paas jitne bhi damage karne wale batsmen ho – Hardik Pandya, jeetne bhi aaye [Shivam] Dube, unse nahi huwe hai runs. Hit nahi lag rahi thi. Toh hume ye sochna chahiye tha ki Iftikhar ko bacha ke rakhne ka kya faida. End me toh aapse hit nahi lagegi. Jahaan 6 ya 7 nahi ho raha, toh ek dafa 9-10 me le jayenge toh woh kya karega. Agar aapne bhejna hi tha, okay fine Shadab ko run-a-ball tha, pichle match me usne perform kiya huwa hai toh usko uper bhejte phir. Uske baad Iftikhar aata,” Misbah said.

He further questioned the decision to send Imad Wasim ahead of Iftikhar and criticized the team for playing fewer batters on a bowling-friendly pitch.
“Imad ko bhej rahe hai, theek hai ki jao abhi normal khelna hai. Yeh pitch nahi hai ki jahaan end pe maarke aap poora kar logey. Usko left hander ke liye bheja aur woh left-hander ka hi poora over dot khel gaya. Basically, you are building pressure aur apne batsman ko woh confidence nahi de rahe hai. Phir toh baat simple si hai ki aap specialist teen batsmen se khel rahe hai, bowling pitch pe. India 6 batsmen ke saath khelke bhi 2 all-rounder khela rahe hai. Sochne ki baat hai ki mushkil pitch pe, jo batting ke liye mushkil hai, under pressure kaun hoga – batting hogi. Humne toh ulta batting resources hamare kam hai,” Misbah concluded.
The former captain’s critique underscores the need for better tactical decisions and confidence in the batting order to optimize performance in crucial matches.

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