Former Pakistani cricketer Kamran Akmal did not mince his words as he expressed profound disappointment with the performance of the Babar Azam-led team after their humiliating loss to India during the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 clash.
Akmal went on to warn that if Pakistan do not alter their approach, they may find themselves struggling to compete even against teams like the Netherlands in the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023.
Pakistan’s defeat at the hands of India was a resounding one, with Virat Kohli and KL Rahul delivering centuries, and Kuldeep Yadav showcasing masterful spin bowling, resulting in a staggering 228-run loss for the Men in Green.
Akmal raises questions on Pakistan’s approach
Akmal questioned the team’s approach, saying, “If you want a good performance in the World Cup, if you want to play in the Asia Cup final, and if you have this approach, you will struggle to even beat the Netherlands.”
He further raised concerns about the team’s management decisions, particularly the choice to bowl first, which had a detrimental impact on Pakistan’s run rate. Akmal cited a recent match against Bangladesh where Pakistan managed to chase a modest target in a slow manner, highlighting the need for a more assertive strategy.
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“What is the management doing? Who told you to bowl first? At least tell players to stay on the crease. Your run rate has suffered badly. You chased 190-odd runs in 40-odd overs against Bangladesh,” added Akmal.
Akmal calls for accountability
Akmal did not limit his criticism to just the team’s approach but also took issue with the shot selection of several players. He voiced his displeasure with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for not holding players accountable and urged them to send clear messages to the squad.
“Send messages. The way Shadab, Iftikhar, and Salman got out. You had to tell them to play the full overs, take the score to at least 260-280. They know that PCB won’t ask them tough questions. There’s no game plan, no approach. Everyone has gone for holidays. I’m sorry to say, you’ve performed like school boys against a top team,” Akmal remarked.
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