Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20, Dubai December 14, 2013

'We got what we wanted to out of the series' - Hafeez


Mohammad Hafeez said the Pakistan side achieved their primary objective of blooding young talent in the two-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka, despite having lost the second match by 24 runs.

Pakistan played four young cricketers with fewer than 10 matches' experience, in both matches, and although only opener Sharjeel Khan made a significant contribution, Hafeez said the series had helped shed light on the state of Pakistan's resources, as they look ahead to the World Twenty20 in March. Pakistan have no more official Twenty20s scheduled before the world event.

"We really got what we wanted to out of the series. It's a positive sign that the youngsters are coming in and doing good for Pakistan. We wanted to see where the youngsters are standing so we can make the right combination for the mega-event. It will be easier for the selectors.

"We wanted to inject some of the youngsters and wanted to see them. I think we got the best out of Sharjeel Khan and Bilawal Bhatti. We tried Usman Khan because we didn't have Umar Gul - he's trying really hard to get back into international cricket - and we're also missing Mohammad Irfan, who is unfit."

Seam bowlers Bhatti and Usman had been wayward in the second match,conceding runs at 16 and 13 runs an over respectively, as Sri Lanka's batsmen exploited their inexperience. Hafeez affirmed his belief in their ability, however, and lauded Sharjeel's 25-ball fifty in his third international match.

"Bilawal Bhatti and Usman Khan are youngsters - we should not forget that. But still we believe they are good bowlers and they will learn from this. They just came into international team, and it's not easy.

"Really happy as a captain to see the good performance from the youngster Sharjeel Khan, and also Sohail Tanvir chipped in. Shahid Afridi is also playing well, so those are the positives in the series."

Hafeez also said Pakistan might have posed a more daunting threat to 211 for 3, had his team not lost four wickets to spin for four runs, in the 10th and 11th overs.

"We leaked some runs as a bowling unit. We were thinking to chase 160-170 on this track, but they played very well. If you have to chase you have to play very well and I think we were very much on the plan, but the four wickets in eight balls in the middle order really made a difference."

Pakistan continued to lose wickets and rarely approached the required run-rate during the chase, but Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal said his team had had nervous moments during Tanvir's brave 63-run ninth wicket stand with Saeed Ajmal. With Ajmal's help, Tanvir blasted Pakistan to within 29 runs of victory with two overs remaining, but Lasith Malinga's 19th over snuffed out the resistance.

"I was a little bit scared when Tanvir was batting really well at the end, because as a bowler you couldn't grip the ball at the end because of the dew - particularly for Malinga," Chandimal said. "But in the end he came in and dismissed Tanvir. Everyone is in good form now, so we are looking forward to the ODI series."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Farooq on December 16, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    First class batting averages do not lie, those figures give you a fair idea about how the batsman is going to fair in tests. Rarely, if ever batsmen score lot more in tests than in first class. How on earth do we select a batsman with first class average of 33 (Hafeez) and make him captain when we have several players out there with better average. I think PCB should advise selectors not to select bastsman who have not had +40 average in at last 2 seasons with an overall +40 average and at least 3-4 years of first class cricket. I would go further to urge them to make it a rule that would require to be over ruled by a special committee of past great bastsmen.

  • mohammad on December 15, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    If Misbah is the Captain, he would do much better than Hafiz. Anyone remembers his initial matches in T20 as a batsman?

  • Rayhan on December 15, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    Pak does have the talent and Sharjeel showed this. Hafeez really needs to justify his place in the sides now, even his bowling is becoming ordinary. And the way he was screaming at the youngsters is not what we expect of a captain. The pressure should be on Hafeez to deliver who has been failing in most games.

  • Dummy4 on December 15, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    As of now there is assembly line turn over in Pak.selection. It wld be a folly to use this approach in coming matches. Sri lanka iremains a strong side. Bring back Younis Khan in test matches particularly if Pakistan ace speedsters are not available....

  • Aleem on December 15, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    PCB should give Usman Khan more chances ... this guy is very young, has a pace and is a big swinger of the ball. The way he bowled in Gaddafi Stadium final, he definitely showed that he has all the nuts and bolts of being a world class bowler like Wasim/Waqar/Shoab. PCB should nurture this guy and it would be great to see him in the current ODIs. Pls don't get this immense talent wasted, because of 1 bad ODI performance.

  • Dummy4 on December 14, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    I am really impressed with sarjeel Khan he really showed good temperament so finally a good opner with Ahmed shazad .No 3 should be Shoib Maksood can he should play calmly no need to go over the top every time as he has good shots down the ground and will learn when and have experience. No 4 should be Umer Akmal be coz he is the best batsman in pak lineup and need to play freely so will can get the best out of him. No 5 should ne Haffez and at 6 should be playing more of a bowler rather than a batsman. Then should be Harris sohel than Afridi than bilawal than Akmal and Tanvir. ..good team selection and hope Awais Zia will be included in world T20.

  • Shahab on December 14, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    Misbah is needed for the T20 world cup. He will perform so well in the ODI's that he will be an automatic choice in the team.... Gul will also be needed for the WC.

  • Stark on December 14, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    @ t20cric I think you are getting confused between T20's and ODI's because he hit two 50's against SA in SA and hit back-to-back 50's against Ind in Ind!!

    Also, I said "arguably" which means he is potentially our best bat but if you don't believe me, then a have look at his scores from September 2012 till now:;filter=advanced;orderby=start;spanmin1=28+Aug+2012;spanval1=span;template=results;type=batting;view=innings

  • asad on December 14, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    @Stark62: I'm not sure on what basis you say that Hafeez is the best t20 batsman in Pakistan but if you've been watching Pakistan (specifically Hafeez) for the whole year you would notice that he is a complete fail against quality pacers (not just Steyn) an example of this is how poorly he played against India's B. Kumar. He does, on the other hand play spin pretty well but if you're in a team where one opener is ussually out of form at bat at no.3 chances are you will have to face quality pacers. If you play Hafeez at no.6 he will probably start batting against a spinner & then in the death overs he will have to face the quality pacers when he has already scored most of his runs. As for the other adjustments I agree with you & I would even say Amin needs to be out of the national team in every format until he averages atleast 40+ in list As & 1st class for 1-2 seasons.

  • Dummy4 on December 14, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    Sri Lanka should send Tisara Perea before Chandimal, thirimanna, and Mathews. He can hit 20 to 30 runs at a strike rate of 140..what a waste of talent

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