ISLAMABAD     -    Overcautious approach, poor team selection and pathetic coaching badly exposed Misbah-ul-Haq’s debut as head coach-cum-chief selector in T20Is on Saturday, as under-strength Sri Lankan team inflicted damaging defeat on Pakistan to go one up in the three match series.

It was time and again mentioned by this correspondent that Misbah is not a suitable head coach-cum-chief selector for the national team, as he does not have any past coaching or selection experience. Despite the fact that he used his influence to hire his blue-eyed persons in different roles, he also selected his near and dear ones for the ODIs. He did not think about the future of Pakistan cricket and give chances to some emerging players, but opted to select the best possible squad. It was ideal time to select some young cricketers against young Sri Lankan players.

Misbah, who had started his coaching career with winning the ODI series to justify his appointment to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and others, rather than rectifying his blunder and providing opportunities to youngsters, who are knocking at the doors of international cricket since long, moved ahead for the T20Is with same used bullets.

The selection of Faheem Ashraf, who could not perform at international stage in the past, is highly questionable. Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal were also not only recalled for the T20 series, but were given direct path to the playing XI. Sarfraz Ahmed is also under enormous pressure for the last two years or so. It was expected that under-strength Sri Lankan side will provide struggling Sarfraz and others perfect platform to return to form and silence their critics, but Misbah continued with his defensive approach and avoided to bring some emerging players in front of local crowd.

Why Misbah decided to give rest to Fakhar Zaman, who had scored 76 in the third ODI, and overlooked Abid Ali for T20 series? Why and on what grounds Faheem, Ahmed, Umar, Aamir and Iftikhar got chances? The PCB, its Chairman Ehsan Mani and CEO Wasim Gulzar Khan are directly responsible for the shameful defeat in the first T20, as they gave too much liberty and powers to a person, who had no experience of selection and coaching.

It was time and gain mentioned in sections of press that Misbah will be a disaster for Pakistan cricket. If Misbah cannot win T20s against an inexperienced Sri Lankan side, how he will cope with Australia and other powerful teams? All international teams are working day and night to make sure that they pay special attention towards the future of their countries, but things are opposite in Pakistan, as Misbah is using all his powers to accommodate his near and dear ones.

It is need of the hour that Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also the Patron of the PCB, must look into the affairs of the board and ensure that youngsters, who had already suffered badly due to change in domestic system, are no more overlooked. Things will further aggravate until and unless there is a check on Misbah and co. The PCB must not take the defeat lightly and consider it as a routine matter. Had the national team fought and lost the match, things would have been different, but the performances in the first T20 give worrying signs. It is hoped the PCB Chairman and other responsible officials will wake up, take stern action and seek explanation from Misbah about the reasons of selecting certain cricketers and ignoring emerging players. Otherwise the PCB will be held responsible for the consequences.