Pakistan’s New Zealand tour ended today leaving Misbah-ul-Haq & others in jeopardy of losing their place in the national team’s setup. So, here is a look at what went wrong and how it is likely to have long-term repercussions.
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What Went Wrong During Pakistan’s New Zealand Tour And Why Misbah-ul-Haq Is Under Pressure?
Pakistan lost the T20 series 2-1 and the Test series 2-0 and hence, the eventual result is enough to explain that the green shirts have had a terrible time in New Zealand. It is also worth mentioning here that Pakistan hasn’t won against a significant opponent ever since Misbah took over as the team’s head coach and so, he was under massive pressure even before the tour to deliver. The 46 year old needed a decent performance from the unit in New Zealand then to retain his position however, the disastrous tour now leaves him in no man’s land.
The tour nevertheless, also leaves Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in no man’s land. The home series against South Africa begins shortly which leaves the board with very little time to find an able replacement. Allowing Misbah to lead the dugout during the home series on the other hand no longer seems like an option particularly at this point in time as the media and public pressure is massive. Ehsan Mani and Wasim Khan then have some really difficult decisions to make with in the next 10 days or so.
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Who Else Is Under Pressure?
Pakistan’s bowling has never looked any worse ever since Waqar Younis took over as Pakistan’s bowling coach in 2019 i.e. the same period when Misbah was appointed. Waqar then is likely to be shown the door alongside Misbah sooner rather than later.
Openers Shan Masood and Abid Ali too haven’t performed well off-late and so at least one of them (Shan likely) is all set to lose his place before the Test series against South Africa. Haris Sohail, Abdullah Shafique, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar, Mohd. Abbas, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah have all looked ordinary as well during the entire tour and so it should not come down as a surprise if most of them are left out of the squad that the new selection is bound to announce in the second or third week of this month.