Ex-Pakistan captain Salman Butt criticised Shadab for his inability to read the pitch© AFP
Following Pakistan’s defeat to Afghanistan in the first T20I on Friday, Shadab Khan, who is leading the team in the absence of Babar Azam, has come under scathing criticism from former players. With five key players — skipper Babar, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf rested for the series — Pakistan handed T20I debuts to batters Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir and fast bowlers Ihsanullah and Zaman Khan. However, Pakistan were restricted to 92/9 in 20 overs after electing to bat.
In reply, Mohammad Nabi guided Afghanistan to a six-wicket win over, hitting an unbeaten 38 off as many delivery on a spin-friendly track at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt criticised Shadab for his inability to read the pitch and wrong field placements.
“The pitch was conducive for slow bowling. Despite playing so much cricket, Shadab is bowling his fast bowlers and also bowling fast himself. There was no slip for Najib Zadran when he came onto bat. Afghanistan batsmen were struggling against Ihsanullah, but Shadab had kept the fielders at boundary. What is your reading of the pitch that you chose to bat on this pitch? That means you’ve no clue. You went with four fast-bowlers on this pitch, you were not playing in Perth,” Butt said on his YouTube channel.
After the defeat, Shadab confessed his new players were nervous.
“Tactics wise, we were fine. But sometimes this can happen due to youngsters being nervous. They need to be given chances, they will get better,” he said.
For Afghanistan, it was a maiden triumph over Pakistan in international cricket.
This is the first bilateral series between the two countries with the remaining matches also in Sharjah on Sunday and Monday.
(With AFP Inputs)
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