New Zealand v Pakistan, World T20 2016, Group 2, Mohali March 22, 2016

Pakistan's weak batting sparks Waqar's ire


Four - the number of times a visibly angry Waqar Younis called Pakistan "not good enough" in his eight-minute press conference. It was preceded variously by "simply", "once again" and "just".

In particular the targets of Waqar's ire seemed to be - he did not name them, but it was easy to join the dots - young batsmen Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, whose partnership of 17 runs in four overs, stalled the momentum that Sharjeel Khan's explosive start gave Pakistan. The two couldn't pick the singles, tried the big shots, failed, and by the time the partnership broke, the asking rate had risen to 11 from eight when Sharjeel got out.

Akmal has reportedly made public comments that he is not getting to bat at his desired positions, higher up in the order. In both of Pakistan's earlier matches in the tournament, Akmal got to bat after Shahid Afridi. This time he got to bat with time in hand, but managed only 24 off 26 balls with no boundaries.

"You have to be able to adjust in T20, you have to be adaptable," Waqar said. "Still, those who were shouting about not getting to bat in the position they want, this was their perfect opportunity. We were just not good enough. You can cry all you want, you can talk all you want, we are just not good enough. People will have to take a hard look at themselves."

Shehzad was not spared either, and the rebuke came as Waqar tried to explain Afridi's promotion to No. 5. "I thought logic was right," Waqar said. "If you see, we didn't move at all from the eighth to the 15th over. Two of our so-called youngsters, upcoming cricketers, they both batted for a good chunk of time in the middle where we thought we would take the game away. We were always in the hope. But yeah couldn't really finish it. I thought Afridi's move to go up the order, I thought it was a good one."

Waqar also asked the selectors to look at this performance. "Of course it hurts," Waqar said. "I can't say what injection we need, but the selectors will have to pay attention to this performance. They will have to find out what players this team needs. Once again, not good enough. If I go into detail, there will be a lot of issues. About first-class cricket too. But we will have to start by solving the immediate problems."

Pakistan still have a mathematical chance of making it to the semi-final. If they beat Australia, and if Australia beat India, there is a good chance the three of them might end up with four points each. When reminded of that faint hope, Waqar summed up the state of mind the team was in: "If you say so, we will continue to hope, but the way we have been playing we don't deserve to go through."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Tariq Butt on March 29, 2016, 0:41 GMT

    T20 world cup batting wasn't weak bowling wasn't up to the standard every team has scored more than 150 runs against your best bowling attack in the world. I believe it was poorest bowling attack in the world cup. lake of planning and bowling cost us the matches first match you won because of batting only.

  • Logan on March 24, 2016, 13:57 GMT

    Shoib Malik, was not in the Pak team for a long time , I assumed that he retired. Surely Pak can pick players for future grooming and bring back players whose shelf life is over , just as Ind are doing with Yuvraj.Yet I have seen so much talent in the IPL.

  •   Aaryan Premji on March 24, 2016, 11:30 GMT

    Iwould feel if Pakistan want a brighter in the upcoming matches they have to promote Sarfraz to no.3. I say this because he is the only player in the Pakistani team who can rotate the strike consistently and thats what Pakistan need. This is what Pakistan need to learn from Sarfraz in to have better in the future :)

  • R on March 23, 2016, 22:16 GMT

    Fact is t20 needs versatile players. it needs younger players and more medium pacing and spinning all rounders. there's only place for 1 real fast bowler. when pakistan figure that out and don't fix matches they will be the best.

  • Irfan Sheikh on March 23, 2016, 19:51 GMT

    Come on guys!!!!! Same BS every time. If players are not perfoming kick them out of the team Let them learn from domestic circket. Im sure that lots of youngster are out there waiting for chance. \ud83c\uddf5\ud83c\uddf0\u270c\ud83c\udffb\ufe0f

  • Tughral on March 23, 2016, 18:39 GMT

    I would like to ask waqar if umar akmal does not deserve to be no.3 then who does?whom did he groom for that position?im not happy with umars performance either but honestly the players waqar has been backing for soo long (asad shafiq) are not even close to him.As for his comments they are so unprofessional i mean which coach does this?Rather then repeating cliched statements like simply not good enough he needs to answer what is his role in developing these players for this stage?or is he just here to bash players when we loose and take credit when we win.Umar akmal shoaib malik and shehzad are good players who are appreciated in world leagues around the world so if they are not performing for pak only that is strange.If waqar would have been sincere in trying umar at no 3 he wont be trying him out at that position in a wc eliminator match and then bash him if he doesnt perform.There were many chances to try him at this position in the last so many years,waqar just failed to use them

  • Awais on March 23, 2016, 16:12 GMT

    And this is the very reason Waqar and Chief Selectors need to be fired immediately.

  • Tom on March 23, 2016, 13:34 GMT

    We have seen enough of some players and Waqar is right. They are just not good enough. From a position of 65 for 0 after 5 and still they could not finish off on a batting track with no real threatening bowlers in the opposition speaks for itself. They have to start from scratch and work on improving the structure. In fact Sharjeel inning was also kind of fluke as he has so many technical flaws in his batting. Shehzad on the other hand just know how to play good shot straight to fielders.

  •   Khaista Rehman on March 23, 2016, 13:16 GMT

    malik u learn from afghan 9th wicket players who hit 4&6 s against eng. but u did,t hit even single 4&6.

  •   Khaista Rehman on March 23, 2016, 13:00 GMT

    afghan 9th hit 4s & 6s in last 5 overs, and here malik did,t hit single 4 & 6. malik learn from afgani players at least. after afridi retirement we can,t win against afghanistan with these old malik who only score against uae and still in the team. his group friends are akmal and shahzad

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