Former Pakistan cricketers Ramiz Raza, Shoaib Akhtar, Rashid Latif and Kamran Akmal have questioned Pakistan’s team selection and Babar Azam’s captaincy after their two-wicket loss against Sri Lanka in the ongoing Asia Cup.
Former skipper and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ramiz Raja said the Pakistan team looked scared as they are still not able to get over the hammering given by India.
“The massive defeat against India has given a psychological dent to Pakistan. They seemed to carry that loss in this match as well. They looked timid and scared and failed to close out the game. Babar Azam and top order looked over-cautious. They lacked authority,” Ramiz said on his YouTube channel.
Raza also questioned the selection of out of out-of-form Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam’s captaincy.
“Fakhar Zaman is a walking wicket nowadays. His body language is looking shocking. I think Fakhar should himself refuse to play,” he said.
“On a slower track, Babar has struggled, barring one or two innings. He needs to step up as captain as well. He should take authoritative decisions,” he said.
Raja also lamented Imam-ul-Haq, who suffered back spasm, Saud Shakeel, who failed to recover from fever and didn’t play the match. Citing a story from 1992 World Cup, where Inzamam-ul-Haq played a match-winning 37-ball 60 despite being down with a stomach bug.
“In the morning of the match, Inzi refused to play in the semifinals. He couldn’t sleep. He was having a stomach issue. He was forced to play and was told there is no other option. He turned up and played a gem of a knock. Half-fit players should take risks if they want to become great players,” he said.
Shoaib laments loss
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar called the defeat against Sri Lanka “embarrassing” and urged Pakistan team management to fix their playing XI as soon as possible.
“Pakistan deserved to be in the final. They were favourites. Unfortunately, there won’t be an India vs Pakistan final in the Asia Cup. Credit goes to Sri Lanka they kept their nerves intact in the crunch situation.
“There is no depth in our middle order. We don’t have a quality spinners. This is a very embarrassing defeat. I am really disappointed. It does not look nice. Failure of Pakistan’s pace battery, openers form, middle order muddle, spinners leaking runs, there are one too many puzzles to solve for the team management ahead of the World Cup.
“Having said that Pakistan will still be the favourite, but they need to pull their socks. Captaincy needs to sharpen up. Get you final XI sorted. I am sure Pakistan have a great chance in India. They need to think over what has went wrong in the Asia Cup,” said Akhtar.
“Nawaz and Haris are not even a regular, and they were sent ahead of Iftikhar. How could they bat ahead of Ifitkhar?,” said Latif on his YouTube channel.
Latif and Akmal question the team selection
Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif questioned the think tank’s decision to promote Mohammad Haris and Mohammad Nawaz ahead of in form Iftikhar Ahmed.
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal echoed Latif’s opinion. He said: “It was a poor decision. What was the point of sending Nawaz ahead of Iftikhar? Ye kaun si decision hai, mere samajh ke bahar hai (What is this decision I am unable to understand this).”
Akmal also lashed out on Pakistan’s bowling.
“The same Sri Lanka team failed to chase down the total of 213 runs against India. 252 was a big total and we failed to defend it. This is an embarrassing defeat. Pakistan not playing the final is a worrying sign,” he said.