Pakistan lost the three-match T20I series to England after being thrashed by a second-string ODI side, leaving a lot of questions on the fore. With the T20 World Cup less than three months away, their series against Windies will be a key practise ground to come up with their final combination. Speaking from Barbados, Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq admitted that their middle-order is far from perfect but they are close to finalising the playing XI.
"We are close to finding out our final combination," Misbah said, at a virtual press conference from Barbados. "We still have the same problems, that our middle order isn't performing the way our top order is. We know 8-9 players of our playing XI as well as their replacements.
"We have to view every game as important and improve our performance. England were a top team in difficult conditions, but we have to look at a roadmap for improvement. Of course, losses shatter your confidence, and we just have to try and build it back."
While the side seems to be zeroing on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan as the openers in the shortest version of the game, the middle-order hasn't quite clicked together. Misbah stated that the failure of the middle-order has been the key focus area for the Windies series.
"The results before the England series were much improved, we won 3 series in a row," Misbah said. "[Mohammad] Hafeez has not been doing as well as he did last year, and other middle-order players are struggling. Overall, the team is better but if these two aspects of our game improve, then we'd be in a much better position. The importance of three-dimensional players and the lower middle order is very important. Players like Hasan Ali and Shadab (Khan) and their performances are crucial, but the link with the middle order needs to be stronger."