ISLAMABAD - Coward captaincy and poor batting deprived green shirts of occupying top slot in the ICC Twenty20 rankings, as Pakistan were beaten by the Sri Lanka in the second T20 at the neutral venue of UAE to make things square at 1-1.

It could have been worst defeat for the green shirts, had Sohail Tanvir, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal not batted sensibly. The defeat clearly indicated that Pakistan needed a brave and sensible skipper, who could read the situation of the match and instead of obeying the PCB interim committee chairman orders, he should have the vision of leading the side at his own.

Hafeez committed too many blunders once again and Lankans never give second opportunity to any opponent. Despite winning the toss, Hafeez, being fully aware that in the last match Pakistan team struggled hard to even achieve 146-run with utmost difficulty and the win only possible because of Afridi's exceptional batting, once again opted to field first and result was not difficult to judge. Sri Lankan batsmen took full advantage of Hafeez's lenient approach and managed to post 100-run opening stand which paved the way of posting a mammoth 211-run score on the board.

Pakistan bowling looked pretty ordinary, especially domestic cricket hero Usman received severe punishment and was clearly told that international cricket is completely different game. It was Hafeez who, instead of starting the proceedings himself just because Najam Sethi had announced on a TV show that Pakistan would start bowling with Usman, obeyed the orders which cost Pakistan dearly. Except Saeed Ajmal and Sohail Tanvir, all the other bowlers failed to bowl well against Lankans. Bilawal completely lost his rhythm as he received real sticking from the Lankan batsmen. Hafeez, who normally bowls his overs quite economically, had to face the music just because of poor handling of the bowlers.

Pakistan team selection was once again highly questionable, as on what grounds Umer Amin was given nod ahead of Anwar Ali, who could have been very handy with both willow and leather, but the team management had other ideas.

Pakistan batting flopped miserably once again as the casual approach of batsmen, while playing against ordinary Sri Lankan bowling, was a real cause of concern for the team management. Pakistan batsmen gifted their wickets to Sri Lankan bowlers which was hard to digest. Sharjeel, after hitting back-to-back sixes, just got carried away as he was clean bowled on a full toss ball. Hafeez tried to play a wayward delivery without moving his feat while Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal and Umer Amin lost their wickets without contributing much for the team rather their departure put pressure on the coming batsmen. Pakistan batting was tattering at 85-7 which at one stage was pretty comfortable at 82-3, but series of wickets put Pakistan on back foot.

Afridi and Sohail Tanvir played brilliant knocks and gave tough time to Lankan bowlers. Saeed Ajmal also batted with great courage and it was the ninth-wicket partnership of 63, which almost put a new belief in Pakistani crowd, who had lost hope after wickets were falling like nine pins. Sohail and Saeed almost brought Pakistan close to a highly unlikely victory as they almost matched the ever rising run rate, but it was very hard to score almost 15 runs in each over with only two wickets in hand.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has to come up with a clear-cut approach as there is no room and space for personal liking and disliking in the national squad. Najam Sethi must be restricted to his original role, or he should join the team as skipper and do whatever he wants, otherwise more results like these will start to come thick and fast. Usman should be kept with the squad for much-needed exposure, but he should not be wasted by inducting in the national team very soon because it can destroy his glittering carrier.