Misbah, Malik slam Babar Azam for ruining bowlers’ confidence

Pakistan bowlers failed to defend 283-run target as Afghanistan registered eight-wicket victory over Pakistan in ICC World Cup on Monday in Chennai

Misbah, Malik slam Babar Azam for ruining bowlers’ confidence

Misbah-ul-Haq expressed his disappointment with Babar Azam's captaincy, attributing it to the decline in Haris Rauf's bowling confidence, particularly during the powerplay. 

According to Misbah, Rauf struggles to find his rhythm in the early overs, leaking 18-20 runs and losing confidence. 

“We can see that whenever Haris Rauf is given the ball to bowl in the powerplay, he is struggling. He is low in confidence, he is leaking 18-20 runs in his first over. We have spoken after the last match against Australia as well, how New Zealand bring Mitchell Santner in the eighth or the ninth over. It is an attacking option, since it is the last over of the powerplay, batsmen tries to take risk. It is a gamble, you can take wicket as well.

“It would have been good for Haris’s confidence if captain would have given the ball after the powerplay, when there are four fielders in the deep. Then he can bowl his bouncers. If he is bowling short of length outside the off stump, he will have a sweeper cover. Now what’s happening is that he is getting hit four boundaries in the first over and he is done for the whole game.

“We know that Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran play the pace bowling well. If we could have bring the spinners early and forced them to attack, they could have got in trouble,” said Misbah.

Shoaib Malik interjected, highlighting the struggles in the spin department and criticizing the lack of innovative thinking from the captain.

“Sorry to interrupt Misbah bhai! our spin department is also struggling. Our captain don’t think out of the box. Saud Shakeel is there, he can bowl you don’t give him the ball.”

Misbah agreed with Malik and cited instances where captain Babar Azam opted for off-spinner Iftikhar instead of Saud in situations where the latter's left-arm spin could have been more effective. 

Misbah recalled Saud's success against England in England, where he provided breakthroughs. He also mentioned a spell where Saud was hit for six boundaries by Harry Brook but argued that this shouldn't deter his usage in the future.