Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, has criticised Misbah-ul-Haq, the team’s coach-cum-selector, for sending a “negative message” with his animated reactions in the dressing room during the second T20I of their ongoing series against England.
During England’s chase of 196 in Manchester on Sunday, when the openers raced to 65-0 in the first six overs, the cameras repeatedly panned on a visibly upset Misbah in the Pakistan dressing room, sitting with his hands on his head. Pakistan eventually lost the match by five wickets, with skipper Babar Azam admitting his bowlers struggled after their spearhead Mohammad Amir had limped off with an injury.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam slammed Misbah for projecting that “something really bad had happened” even though the game was far from done, and England still needed over 150 runs to seal the game.
“During the fifth over of England innings, when Pakistan were bowling their Powerplay overs when they had conceded 40-45 runs, the camera kept showing Misbah and he had his hands on his head, which suggested that something really bad had happened,” Inzamam said. “There were still 155-160 runs to go, the match could have gone in anyone’s favour, but you are sending a message that suggests that you have done something wrong. You can have a proper discussion after the game, but if you respond like this during the match, then this will have a bad effect on the team.”
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Inzamam compared the reactions to those sent out by former coach Mickey Arthur, who was sacked by the PCB after a disappointing World Cup last year. Inzamam, whose tenure as chief selector coincided with Arthur’s stint, revealed that the players used to reach out to him about the negative influence of the coach’s reactions. During England’s innings, commentator Rob Key had also noted similarities in Misbah and Arthur’s reactions in the dressing room.
“Mickey Arthur used to respond in the same way,” Inzamam said. ” Whenever I used to go to watch series and talk to players, they used to complain a lot that Arthur’s similar antics affected them negatively. No matter what happens during the match, only positive vibes should go out from the dressing room. It’s very important. We are T20 champions. If we’re losing in that [format], it’s a cause of worry.”