The former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has said it before and says it again now. “As I have said before, I fear that this Pakistan team can go out of the world cup in the first round itself.”
In a short video on his YouTube channel, he reiterated the reasons.
“Pakistan middle order is not good. Plus Pakistan’s openers if they don’t perform, middle order gets into pressure. This is not the way to go into a world cup if you want to win the world cup. It is very sad,” Akthar says.
“That’s why I had criticised Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan’s coach) and others to get your middle order and batting order in order. Somehow, they are not listening. It’s very sad to see that Pakistan is not doing well. It’s disheartening.
It’s looking dire. It’s not going to be easy for the management from here. Hopefully they learn a thing or two, start watching my videos (smiles) and improve.
Babar and Rizwan can’t do it every game. Haris Rauf, well done; I want other bowlers to step up.
Last month, when the team was selected, Akhtar had blasted the selection. “Pakistan Cricket Board ne kya select kiya he team. Problem middle order ka tha but unhone kaha ki consistency ke saath hum aisa decision karenge jo aapko bara pasand ayeaga, matlab humlog aisa bura decision lenge ki middle order change hi nahi karenge (The problem was in the middle order but the selectors overlooked it and didn’t make any changes in the middle order),” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
“Fakhar Zaman, I have told this a million times before, give him those 6 overs. Australia me ball usse suit karega but Babar Azam ko upr hi rakhna (I have said this a million times that give 6 overs to Fakhar Zaman as the Australian conditions will suit him and keep Babar at the top).”
Akthar had also criticised the chief selector, former pacer Mohammad Wasim and his former team-mate Saqlain Musthaq, who is Pakistan’s coach.
“Jab chief selector average hoga unke decision bhi average honge (When the chief selector is average then only average decisions would be taken),” Akthar said about Mohammad Wasim.
He then said that Saqlain doesn’t have any idea about T20.
“Saqlain (Mushtaq) last played cricket in 2002, I don’t want to say this as he is my friend, but I don’t think he has any idea about T20 cricket. I don’t think this is your forte,” Akhtar said.
Akthar also wondered if the batting coach Mohammad Yousuf had much say in the team.
“Meanwhile, Mohammad Yousuf is not even in the team. Had he been there, how could our batting not perform? Yousuf is an asset in the dressing room, but I don’t know how much say he has in this team. Iftikhar Ahmed is Misbah part two. Mashallah, we had Rizwan and now he has Iftikhar for company.”
“With this team, we might get knocked out in the first round itself. I am really scared as our batting has no depth. Our captain is also not cut out for this format as he always looks for classic cover drives. He wants to look classic.”