Former cricketers castigated the miserable batting performance by the Pakistan team, which was knocked out of Asia Cup after defeat against hosts Bangladesh.
Pakistan could manage only 129 runs on the board in the make-or-break match last night and failed to contain the Bangladeshi batsmen.
“It is so disappointing to go out of the Asia Cup in this manner. I was hoping our team would motivate themselves to beat Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and set up a final with India,” former paceman Shoaib Akhtar said.
Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq laid the blame of recent defeats on batting.
“Our bowlers again did a good job but the batting is just not clicking. The selectors have tried everyone who is doing well in domestic cricket so what else can one can do,” Misbah said.
Misbah contended that Pakistan had again misread the pitch and situation by playing Anwar Ali and not giving more overs to all-rounder Shoaib Malik.
“The ball was gripping and I would have thought Malik would be a good option early on for a few overs. The pitch was not easy for batting,” he said.
Pakistan’s champion off-spinner Saeed Ajmal also expressed surprise over some of the captaincy decisions.
“Malik should have been brought on in the seventh or eight over. They were other lapses in the field as well. The calculations were wrong,” he said.
Former Test captain Javed Miandad, Muhammad Yousuf and Rashid Latif and former players Mohsin Khan and Sarfaraz Nawaz
were more forthright in blaming the batting for the poor performances.
Pakistan has lost seven of its last 10 T20 internationals and in their last four matches they have quickly lost their first three or four wickets inside the power play overs.
Even against Bangladesh Pakistan had lost three quick wickets.
The greenshirts have also tasted defeat in seven of their last 10 One-day internationals increasing concern about where the team is headed before the World T20 in India.
“This is one of the worst batting performances I have seen in recent times,” Miandad said.
He said it was time for the PCB to seriously think about the future and bring in a new captain and mindset in the team.
“When the captain’s place in the side is not confirmed how can we expect good results.”
Yousuf said batting had been pathetic in recent times.
“These batsmen just lack proper application and technique and try to hit themselves out of trouble on pitches which offer some assistance to bowlers. It doesn’t work that way in international cricket.”
Yousuf also felt that Afridi needed to seriously rethink his future.
“He is under immense pressure as captain since he is not clicking as a player despite being the most experienced member of the squad.”
Nawaz said that it was time for the PCB to ask Afridi to step down and appoint someone else for the World T20.
“We have heard enough excuses but when the captain is not performing how can he question or pull up the other players,”
Latif said Pakistan’s approach to T20 cricket on pitches which were not pure batting tracks was faulty and they didn’t read the situation well.
“I don’t know who to blame but individuals when they play for Pakistan must foremost accept responsibility for their own performances. It is disappointing that Bangladesh put us out of the final a country which is so much less experienced than us in international cricket,” Latif said.
Mohsin Khan said the team management needed to be asked questions why they were getting decisions wrong and why they
couldn’t motivate the players and improve their performances.
“The PCB can’t just wait for things to improve,” he added.
Former PCB Chairman Najam Sethi, who now heads the powerful Executive Committee, tweeted that he was disappointed by the dismal performance of the team.
“I am sorely disappointed by continuing dismal performance of our team. PCB management must take swift action against responsible people,” Sethi tweeted soon after Pakistan were beaten by hosts Bangladesh.
Former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq says the cricket authorities must seek help of former greats to find solutions for the batting woes, afflicting the national team.
WATCH: Bangladesh Beat Pakistan, To Meet India In Final
“I would suggest to the Board to use the services of our batting greats like Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad
Yousuf to resolve the problems we are facing in our batting department,” Saqlain said after Pakistan’s ouster from Asia Cup.
“We are losing matches because our batting is just not doing enough. We have quality bowlers but they also need something to bowl with. There is no consistency in our batting in limited over cricket. And we need to look at this seriously,” he added.
“I think our own batting greats can do a lot to help the batsmen in the national team and even those coming up in domestic cricket. The PCB must ask these batting greats to use their experience to help the national team players and also work with batsmen at the domestic, junior and academy levels,” Saqlain said.
The PCB has hired former Zimbabwean batsman, Grant Flower as their batting coach since 2014 but in ODIs and T20 cricket
the national team batsmen have just failed to perform consistently.
Saqlain, who took 208 Test and 288 ODI wickets in an illustrious career, said Pakistan’s own players would be able to communicate easily with the players.
Miandad and Inzamam have had very short stints with the Pakistan team players in training camps in the recent past while the former remained head coach for two terms.
Yousuf has made it clear he will not accept any offer from the current set up unless things change for the better.