Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has accepted the responsibility for the Men in Green’s three-nil defeat in the Twenty20 International (T20I) series against a second-string Sri Lanka side in Lahore.
While speaking during a press conference after the conclusion of the third T20I, Sarfaraz said that the players failed to live up to the expectations associated with the number one ranked T20I side.
“When the team isn’t performing then the captain is responsible,” said Sarfaraz. “The management did their best to help us, but ultimately it’s up to the players and the captain to deliver. The management has no role to play in that, whether it’s the World Cup or this series.”
“We didn’t play well at all in this series and a young team showed us how to play. The cricket they were playing, this is the cricket we were playing in the last 30 games,” he added.
The 32-year-old also bemoaned the fielding lapses which ultimately helped the visitors in putting up a competitive total in the third T20Is.
Sarfaraz dropped a catch of top-order batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama and also missed the stumping of Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka when he was batting on 1.
All-rounder Shadab Khan collided with Babar Azam in the field and missed a skier which could have ended left-hand batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa innings on 1 during left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir’s second over.
“We were subdued and didn’t express ourselves in this series. We took pressure on ourselves and had lapses in all facets,” he said. “We need to improve in all departments because if we keep dropping catches like this in the middle overs, we won’t be able to beat any team.”
“We saw quite a few things, it’s an eye opener for everyone as now we know which things we have to work on,” he added.
The Pakistan captain also defended the decision to select opener Ahmed Shehzad and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal for the T20I series against Sri Lanka.
“We brought some players back in this series as we wanted to try them before the tough Australia tour,” he said. “Shehzad and Umar had performed well in the Pakistan Super League and other domestic tournaments.”
“The players are the same ones who have been playing before and maybe some players will make comebacks in future as well, but as a team we didn’t play as well as Sri Lanka did,” he added.
The Sarfaraz-led side has now lost six of their seven T20Is this year.
The Men in Green’s next assignment is a three-match T20I series against Australia down under, which will begin from November 3 in Sydney.