Pakistan Cricket Team suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan cricket team in the T20 series at the home ground of Lahore. Sri Lanka sealed a three-match T20 series with a decisive consecutive second triumph in Lahore on Monday, shattering the hopes of Pakistani fans to equalize the series with 1-1.
Pakistani fans were dejected with a dismal performance in the second T20 match. Sri Lanka, playing in the field with a second-string team was comparatively a novice side in front of T20 champions Pakistan, convincingly outshined Pakistani players in every department. Sri Lanka is currently leading the series with 2-0 after beating Pakistan with 35 runs in Monday’s match, with 65 runs in the first T20 held on Saturday. The final match will take place on Wednesday at the same venue.
Social Media Trolled
While the depressed social media users lightened their hearts by sharing hilarious memes and jokes on Twitter, some serious dissension followed the tragic defeat. The lethargic performance, undefended target, poor shot selection, and a failed comeback of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal were severely discussed on social media.
The best thing Micky Arthur did was to keep the likes of Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad away from Pakistan team. The work of the last 3-4 years down the drain. Misbah has brought back all the old players. At least Micky was bringing in younger players and developing them— Owais (@syedmuhdowais) October 8, 2019
@junaidakram83 maybe make a short rant video about cricket? Why the hell PCB doesn't give any chance to constant run scorer Fawad Alam and keep giving chances to these Paindos Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad who keep failing.
Maybe your voice might be heard?
— Rehan – "The.WishMaster" 🇳🇱🇵🇰 (@Wishmaster_Ray) October 8, 2019
PCB’s selection of Misbah-ul-Haq as head coach and chief selector was challenged on social media, with netizens expressing disillusionment over preferring Shehzad and Akmal above young performers like Haris Sohail. Netizens appreciated Micky Arthur’s decision to sideline Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad from the playing squad.
We will always wonder what Misbah was thinking when he recalled Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad to the squad but I do buy into the theory that this was a masterstroke to never be bothered with them again … #PakvsSL— Well Pitched (@WellPitched) October 8, 2019
The biggest question why are repeatedly failing cricketers given chances time and again. Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad and also high time Sarfraz was shown the door. Enough is enough
— Samia Mazahir (@SamiaMPardhan) October 8, 2019
Some even recalled the preceding coach Micky Arthur who worked hard to revamp the performance of the Pakistan Cricket team, under whose mentorship Pakistan lifted the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017.
Well I simply don't understand why the entire world is questioning the selection but @captainmisbahpk is adamant on playing the 2 great match losers Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal! I don't understand why @SarfarazA_54 would support the decision!— Huzaifa (@HuzaifaChakera) October 8, 2019
Some netizens pointed out that it was a master plan by Misbah-ul-Haq to end the career of Akmal and Shehzad, who ceaselessly complained of not given enough opportunities. Cricket Analysts are convinced it is time to say Good-Bye to both the tried-and-tested players.
Interestingly, Head Coach Misbah-ul-Haq defended the decision of recalling players in the team, attributing it to the aim of building up a robust team for the next year’s T20 World Cup.
In the presser ahead of the second T20, Misbah-ul-Haq cleared that no player would be excluded from the team merely based on one poor performance. Adding that “We want to provide a fair chance to every player. Those players, who were recalled for Sri Lanka T20s, have performed well in domestic cricket as well as in Pakistan Super League (PSL).
It should be end of Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal (forever), Asif Ali & Faheem Ashraf.
Better to give proper chance to Haris Sohail and Iftikhar Ahmed, bring back Shoaib Malik (& Hafeez, if required) and some youngsters (Haider Ali, Rohail Nazir, Amir Yamin & Zafar Gohar). #Cricket— Fazal Aslam – Fazi 🇵🇰 (@Faxal_Aslam) October 8, 2019
“We are focusing on making the best team combination for the upcoming T20 World Cup, and for this, we have to provide fair chances to each and every performing cricketers. Hopefully, the recalled players will try to give out their best in the next matches and make the decision of their selection right,” he added.
In the post-match presser, Misbah-ul-Haq cited the team’s deficiencies in all departments, admitting the failure to smoothly implement the plan. Adding that, “There was a clear difference between the two teams. Despite being inexperienced, they were disciplined and did everything right, while we completely failed to implement our plan.”
Now, with the continuous streak of mediocre performance in the second T20, will the cricketing career of Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad cease? The question remains if scapegoating Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad is enough to hide other weaklings in the team that otherwise calls for huge replacements in the team.