SHARJAH: Aqib Javed, the head coach of Lahore Qalandars, said Saturday he had never seen such a failure in batting, over and over in the same way, during his over 30-year-long association with cricket.
Having suffered from their fifth consecutive defeat, this time at the hands of Peshawar Zalmi, which further fuelled the Twitterati to make Qalandars the butt of most jokes, the team seemed to bowl better but continued to lag behind in batting.
In a press conference following their humiliating loss, the 14th match of the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) third season, Javed looked quite despondent with the team’s performance.
A match or two later, one hopes for a better game — similar to how Qalandars played yesterday — but the team put on a terrible show tonight, he said.
According to the coach, the Qalandars have been dealing with the same issue in every match and “everyone knows what it is”. Nevertheless, there are five more matches remaining in the series, he noted, adding that his team would try to excel.
In response to a question about whether a stricter attitude with the squad would bump up their game, Javed said that was not the case.
“The coaches of the national team can conduct themselves differently because it is with the team as a whole; in events such as the PSL, however, the same does not hold true since the cricketers play four or five different leagues throughout the year, thereby reducing the coaches’ role to only management.”
The team begins well but none of the top-order batsmen manages to bag a good score during the innings. “At least one of them needs to convert that good start-off into 70 or more runs,” Javed commented.
The same story replayed today.
“You expect senior players — such as Brendon McCullum, Fakhar Zaman, Umar Akmal, and Denesh Ramdin — to take responsibility,” he stated in a disheartened fashion.
“Fakhar Zaman oughts to change his style once the power play concludes,” he noted.
“We brought him against Liam Dawson in today’s match so that he would be able to strike a major shot.”
The players need to rev up their game in order to win, Javed observed, explaining that victory cannot be achieved by a team that has no batsmen to play longer innings.
“When the opposing team is chasing a 100-run target, your bowlers look quite … average.”
Every team plays tirelessly to make a comeback, the head coach said, with a dash of reluctant motivation.
“So, we will have our eyes set on the win when we enter the pitch for the Qalandars’ sixth match.”
—Copy and translation by Haseem uz Zaman