Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar feels the national cricket team is making a fool out of itself in the ongoing ODI series against England in UAE.
“They have made a fool and joke out of themselves in the first two matches. And if they do not improve quickly I fear they could lose the series 4-0,” said Akhtar after Pakistan suffered second straight defeat in the four-match series yesterday.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq,who led Pakistan to a stunning 3-0 whitewash against England in the Test series,has also came under fire for his captaincy not only from Akhtar but also former captain and coach Waqar Younis.
“Misbah needs to be more strict with the players. The way Imran Farhat,Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi got out today,I think Misbah needs to tell them what is expected of them as senior players.
“When Umar was batting and trying needless strokes,what was Misbah doing? He should have spoken to him. If Misbah doesn’t get strict and press the red button I don’t think we can win this series,” Akhtar insisted.
Akhtar also felt that Misbah needed to be more aggressive as captain in the one-dayers.
“We have the best spinners in the world but they were not turning the ball even in day time. I think instead of containing roles Misbah needs to be use them to get wickets. He should be attacking more with his field placements and bowlers.”
Waqar had also echoed similar views after the match,urging Misbah to be more proactive.
“He has to realise that he can’t play the waiting game in one-day cricket. It worked and works in Test cricket but you can’t sit around waiting for things to happen in one-day cricket. I think he needs to attack more,” Waqar said.
Pakistan now trail the series 0-2 after defeats in the first two matches and Waqar said,”I also feel too many changes in the team after every match does not send out the right message.”
Akhtar and Waqar also believed that the experiment of playing Umar Akmal as a wicketkeeper was a big mistake on part of the team management.
“I don’t know what they are thinking. But I would always play a specialist keeper. Adnan Akmal is the best choice and he is no mug with the bat. You can try Umar in T20 cricket but in 50-over format you need a proper keeper,” Waqar said.
Akhtar said that Pakistan needed to play a specialist keeper and at same time search for a stumper,who can bat as well.
“In the past we have had Moin Khan and Rashid Latif who were good keepers who could bat well. I think it is a mistake going in without a regular keeper,” he said.
Both the former greats also criticised the attitude of the batsmen in the ODI series,pointing out that most of the players had been around for years and needed to shoulder responsibility.
“I don’t know what was the hurry today…we were going at run a ball and the batsmen got self destructive. They need to understand someone has to carry the responsibility of playing through the innings. It was pathetic batting from our players,” Akhtar said.
He also said Pakistan’s inconsistency in performance stemmed from a lethargic attitude and being lazy.