Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009 August 15, 2009

Poor shot selection cost us - Intikhab

Cricinfo staff
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Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam has blamed his batsmen for the Test and ODI series defeats in Sri Lanka. Pakistan lost the Test series 2-0 and were 3-0 down in the five-match ODI series before snatching consolation wins in the last two games and the one-off Twenty20 international.

"We dominated the Test series against Sri Lanka but just two bad sessions changed the whole scenario of the tour,' Intikhab said on arrival back in Pakistan. "Poor shot selection brought about our downfall."

Pakistan were well-placed in the first two Tests but lost both after dramatic batting collapses. In Galle, they crashed to 117 in the fourth innings chasing a modest 168. At the P Sara Oval, they were bundled out for 90 in the first innings, but their collapse in the second was more dramatic. After staging a spirited comeback, they lost their last nine wickets for 35 runs and subsequently suffered their first ever Test series loss in Sri Lanka.

The captain Younis Khan denied rumours of rifts within the team and also refused to quit after those defeats. Intikhab also refused to resign, following calls from various quarters that he was too old to coach the team.

"I don't think age has anything to do with it. And anyway I'm not yet 70," said Intikhab, who is 67.

Intikhab also welcomed the appointment of Javed Miandad as batting advisor to prepare for the upcoming Champions Trophy. The Pakistan Cricket Board is also expected to hire former opener Saeed Anwar as the batting coach.

"Miandad has a lot of experience and I'm sure that his guidance will help our batsmen a lot," Intikhab said.

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's new Twenty20 captain, hoped his team would carry the winning momentum to the Champions Trophy in South Africa next month.

"We had lost all the previous games and were desperate to win the last few and managed to do that easily," Afridi said. "I hope that we will continue playing like that in the Champions Trophy."