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Ex-skippers shocked by Pakistan’s T20 thrashing

Ex-skippers shocked by Pakistan’s T20 thrashing

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captains Aamir Sohail, Wasim Akram, Ramiz Raja, Rashid Latif and Mohammad Yousuf have expressed disappointment and shock at Pakistan’s back to back thrashing in the Twenty20 International series against New Zealand.

“Pakistan was clearly lacking tactically, in planning and strategy, which proved disastrous,” said Aamir who was a member of Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup winning team. “Our management and captain misread the track completely which was good for batting and sent Kiwis in to bat first and that as a mistake,” lamented the left-handed opener. “After Kiwis put up a massive 196 on the board, our batsmen were under pressure and were not able to score quick runs,” he said.

He also questioned the shot selection of top-order batsmen. “This performance should be an eye opener for the team management, selectors and PCB administrators with only a couple of month left for ICC World T20,” he said.

Former all-rounder Wasim said great focus and consistency is required from the batsmen in future games. “I was expecting some fighting games from Pakistan after the first T20 win, but in the last two matches they surrendered meekly which was a sorry sight.”

Wasim said the shot selection of the players was quite bad and they paid the penalty for their mistakes. “Not many good batsmen are coming up in the national team who can bat sensibly and take pressure,” he observed.”

Former skipper and batting great Javed Miandad said that Pakistan players committed some very basic mistakes. He said that Pakistan should have planned their batting order keeping in view the stiff target. “There was no harm in changing the strategy and reshuffling batting order. Afridi should have placed himself at the upper slot in the batting order,” said Javed. “There was no team work in the entire match everyone seemed to be in in a hurry.”

Ramiz was also a dejecte man on Friday and said Pakistan team batsmen buckled under pressure after losing first couple of quick wickets. “I was surprised to see Pakistan starting with Anwar Ali in bowling instead their fastest bowler Wahab Riaz,” Ramiz said.

He added that the Pakistan spinners could have played better role. “Only Shahid Afridi applied some pressure on Kiwis batsmen, otherwise they were given a free hand. I always rated Pakistan favorites in T20 version against Kiwis but I have been proved wrong by this performance.”

Ex-middle-order batsman Yousuf endorsed the views of other experts.. “Win and loss are part of the game. But they way we surrendered in the last two games was deeply disappointing and it hurts,” he said. “None of our players are learning from their mistakes and that is the reason for our team’s decline.”

Rashid, commenting on the T20 defeats, said performing under pressure is vital for Pakistan team but they once again failed to deliver in such a situation. “Also, I am at a loss to know why we dropped Mohammad Irfan from the T20 series, he would have been a handful for the Kiwi players.”

Rashid added that the team management and the players are equally responsible for the debacle. “We need to work extensively and scientifically on our gray areas to develop the team,” the former wicket-keeper said.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2015

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