LAHORE - Pakistan cricket team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has come down hard on his players after the T20 series loss against Sri Lanka, terming it as an eye-opener for the national team.

“Losing is never good, especially against the second-leg Sri Lankan team, which is without their major players and it’s an eye-opener for us. We can see deficiencies in every department: bowling, batting and particularly the way we got out against spin, and also our death bowling,” Misbah said ahead of the third and last T20 against Sri Lanka today (Wednesday).

“There was a clear difference between both the sides. Despite being an inexperienced and young side, the visitors were disciplined and did everything right, while we completely failed to implement our plans,” he added.

The head coach admitted that Babar had great contributions in making Pakistan number one team in T20s but his failure have left the side exposed in this T20 series. “It is true that we gained number one ranking in T20s but if you dig deeper, you will see Babar Azam remained the main strength behind earning this top slot but he didn’t score in two games and we have been exposed,” he said.

When asked about poor performances of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, Misbah said: “Both the recalled players had been performing well for the last one year. Ahmed’s performance in the PSL was good enough to get a chance, while Umar also performed well in each and every given format. It’s really unfortunate that there is no other batsman in T20s, who had performed better than them. They got the chance in the team on merit.

Match starts at 6:30pm

“If they weren’t able to perform, what can be done? Obviously, I am answerable, but to build up a team, you need to do some experiments to get the answers. When you play someone in international cricket with a couple of games, you understand the utility of a player. We need to show some patience and wait for the next series to find answers.”

Misbah termed next year’s T20 World Cup as main target, saying, “To buildup the right combination for the mega T20 event, we need to make some experiments. Our middle-order batsmen need to produce runs while the bowlers have to bowl better to strike early.

There is a dire need to find out six or more match winners and also there must be more dependable batsmen in the squad. Our batting needs powerhouses in the top and middle while our bowlers need to take wickets upfront and in the death overs and we need to have good finishers,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan captain Dusan Shanaka expressed his delight and excitement on his team’s 35 runs win in the second T20 international over World number one Pakistan which helped them to win the three match series 2-0 here on Monday night at the Gaddafi Stadium. “It is a big honour for my young team to beat Pakistan in two back to back matches and to win the series,” he said.

The touring captain said all the players showed great spirit and hard work to beat Pakistan. “The way our players played they deserve to win,” said the jubilant captain. He said they look forward to the coming game with the same passion to aim for a win.

He praised the batting of man of the match and the top scorer Banukaa Rajapaksha (77) and termed his innings ‘master class knock’. “His superb batting helped us to get a good innings total and then our bowlers specially, pacer Pradeep and spinner de Silve struck super performance to shatter Pakistan batting,” he said.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmad admitted that his side failed to display good cricket, both in batting and bowling in the so far played both the matches. “As our batsmen and bowlers did not live up to the expectations, we also showed lapses in the fielding wasting ideal run out chances and all these factors let us down in the second T20,” he added.

Sarfraz congratulated the Lankan side for their success in two successive matches and said, “They played better cricket and deserve to win.” The captain urged the fellow colleagues to lift their performance in their respective departments of the game to help the side to win the coming match on October 9. “One math has left and we have the ability to win it and I expect all round show from the team in last game,” he added.