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The criticism is valid, admits Misbah-ul-Haq after New Zealand series defeat
Pakistan News

The criticism is valid, admits Misbah-ul-Haq after New Zealand series defeat

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has acknowledged the team is deserving of criticism following the Test series defeat to New Zealand.

A crushing loss by an innings and 176 runs at Hagley Oval on Wednesday saw Pakistan succumb to a series whitewash at the hands of a rampant New Zealand side.

Pakistan's performances across the two-Test series were in sharp contrast to each other as the tourists came agonisingly close to earning a draw in the first encounter but were handed a brutal thrashing in the subsequent outing.

The backlash of the second Test capitulation was fierce as Misbah noted the team's shortcomings were laid bare after a defiant show in the series opener.

"The criticism is valid. Those who are criticising us are those who believe in the team's capabilities and potential," Misbah was quoted as saying on the PCB Podcast.

"That potential was visible in phases like in the first Test we were down and out in both innings but the players fought hard and brought the game to a situation where we were only five overs from saving the Test. Seeing that, the fans develop expectations and from there, when your performances go down, the criticism is justified."

A lingering issue for Pakistan on away tours has been their inability to close out thrilling contests in their favour.

During the England tour last summer, Pakistan were placed in a dominant position to clinch an early series lead in the Old Trafford Test. However, a marvellous stand between Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler catapulted England past the finishing line, rendering Pakistan winless in the Test series.

"We did not play to our potential in all three departments and we need to get up and improve our performances. The main objective of playing any sport is to win. And when you don't win, there are disappointments," Misbah commented.

"When your performances do not match your expectations, then it gives birth to sadness and regret. We had opportunities to succeed on this tour but we couldn't capitalise on them. We have to see why we are unable to close matches after getting into strong positions."

The bane of Pakistan's woeful run in the Christchurch clash with New Zealand was the exorbitant amount of fielding errors in the home side's only innings.

Pakistan dropped a total of eight catches as the Black Caps batsmen grilled the visitors' inexperienced bowling line-up to rack up an insurmountable total of 659/6 declared.

"The biggest problem on this tour and one issue that has plagued Pakistan cricket in the past as well is our dropped chances. This has affected the series result, in my opinion," Misbah assessed. "We missed a lot of catches in both Tests and had we grabbed them, the matches could have gone further. We need to work on that."