Misbah: Our batting was the culprit on a pitch which was good for batting

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq expressed disappointment in the collective fruitfulness of a reasonably inexperienced batting order, after Pakistan slumped to a 24-run defeat to Zimbabwe on day five of the second Test at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

While Misbah and fellow veteran Younis Khan cherished a fine stretch of form throughout the two-match series and opener Khurram Manzoor showed promise with twin half-centuries, wicketkeeper-batsman Adnan Akmal and middle-order duo Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq struggled.

“Our batting was the culprit on a pitch which was good for batting. In both innings we couldn’t cross 250. We only crossed 300 once in the four innings on this tour. How can you win a Test match without scoring 300 runs? I dont know,” said Misbah.

“These youngsters were really performing well in pressure series against Sri Lanka and England, but at the moment, they are struggling. Zimbabwe really exploited our inexperience. We were positive right from the start and decided wherever we can attack them, we’ll do it. That’s how we approached it but nobody could stand.”

The position of limited-overs skipper Mohammad Hafeez in the Test team, meanwhile, remained in the balance. Hafeez’s four innings in Zimbabwe brought a mere 69 runs, while his off-spin was hardly required.

“It’s a big concern because he was in good form in the ODIs and he did not contribute in Tests. It’s not my decision, it’s a board decision so let’s see,” added Misbah.

“It matters when your team performs. If your team is losing, you really hurt as a captain. You don’t want to lose or tie these sort of series. You win matches as a team, you can’t win matches as individuals. You really need to stand up as a team.”