Former Pakistan players reacted strongly to the national team’s “great escape” in the first Test against England in Abu Dhabi with many saying that the batsmen’s surrender in the second innings was appalling.
Umpires called off play due to bad light with England at four wickets down requiring just 25 runs for victory in eight overs after another Pakistan batting collapse in the second innings on the fifth and final day.
Pakistan fell for 173 leaving England requiring 99 runs for victory on a dramatic day.
“Thank God the Test ended due to bad light and saved the Pakistan team from a certain humiliating defeat,” former Test captain Muhammad Yousuf told PTI.
“It is inexplicable that our team was bowled out for such a low score inside a day on a batting pitch which remained true till the end,” Yousuf said.
“If our batsmen struggle this way on the UAE pitches I shudder to think what will happen when we go to England next year,” he added.
He said the careless shots played by captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan can only be classified as horrifying.
Former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir said that although Adil Rashid had got five wickets in the second innings the Pakistani batsmen should blame themselves for a poor batting show.
“I don’t know what was their hurry. What prompted Misbah and Younis to play such shots when well set. If they can be troubled by the English leg spinner on such a track they will face lot of problems in remaining matches if the pitches are different,” Qadir said.
He said that the absence of Yasir Shah from the Pakistan bowling line up in the first Test had hurt the team a lot but the batsmen should have stepped up.
“But our batsmen need to show more responsibility.”
Former skipper Javed Miandad said it would have been a crime to lose the Test after scoring 500 in the first innings and declaring.
“But this is what I mean when I say our batsmen need to apply themselves more in Test cricket. A Test match is not over until the bails are off on the final day. I remember we lost in similar fashion to England in Karachi in 2000,” he said.
Miandad however said that England shouldn’t have complaints as the umpires had given them as much time as possible in the fading light to chase down their target.
“The umpires were right to end the Test when they did or else it would have been unfair on Pakistan,” he said.
Former wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif said that sending Shoaib Malik into bat at number three after the first wicket fell early in the second innings was a mistake.
“You need to study the game. Malik had batted for the first two days and than bowled 35 overs in sapping heat. Misbah, Younis or Asad should have been in at number three instead of Malik.”
Latif pointed out that the England had given evidence of their preparations for the series and Pakistan would need to play their best cricket to beat them in the series now.
“This England team is different from the one that were whitewashed in 2012,” he said.
Pakistan’s national T20 captain Shahid Afridi said the Pakistani batsmen had tried to play too many shots in their second innings that caused them problems.
But he noted the Pakistan Test squad was an experienced and gelled outfit, which could beat England in the next two matches.