Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar tore into the country’s cricket team and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, calling his captaincy “brainless” after the 89-run defeat [DLS] to India on Sunday.
Akhtar was critical of Sarfaraz’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss on a wicket that favoured the batsmen. The former pacer highlighted the lack of thought behind the captain’s decision.
“It rained so you will bowl first?” Akhtar questioned.
“The wicket was completely dry. There’s a hovercraft covering the square, so there was no chance of any moisture (on the wicket). It was a brainless decision to bowl first on a wicket like that. It was a mistake which India committed in the Champions Trophy final and Pakistan repeated it,” he added.
The 43-year-old also highlighted Pakistan’s poor record while chasing and felt the captain must have taken that into account while making a decision after the toss. “Historically, Pakistan have been poor chasers and more so against India. In 1999, we couldn’t chase 227 despite having so many good batsmen in the team. I don’t understand how Sarfaraz thought they will be able to chase against such a strong Indian attack,” Akhtar lamented.
The former pacer also lashed out at Pakistan’s batsmen for failing convert starts into big scores. He questioned their inability to rotate the strike.
“Rohit Sharma made a big score, but Pakistan’s batsmen failed to do so. They are good stroke players but you need to rotate the strike. Just look at how Virat Kohli plays,” Akhtar stated.
Pakistan now face a tall order to qualify for the semi-finals and Akhtar concluded by saying that Pakistan fans should lower their expectations from a team full of “average” players.