Former fast bowler and outspoken commentator Shoaib Akhtar lashed out at the Pakistani cricket team after their second crushing defeat against England in the three-match series. Pakistan’s top-order again collapsed and they were routed for 195 going down by 52 runs in the 247-run chase. The result meant that the visitors had lost the three match series to England.
The Pakistan bowlers did well to restrict and dismiss England for 247 in the 47-over a side contest at Lord’s but it was the top-order batting which was once again the bane of the Pakistani unit. The top 4 failed with the bat and it was only Saud Shakeel who put up a semblance of a fight with 56 off 77 deliveries from number 5. The team kept losing wickets and were reduced to 118 for 7 before a valiant effort by the lower-order gave some sort of respectability to the total. But it was never going to be enough and the team was bundled out for 195 in 41 overs.
This followed their horrific performance at Cardiff, where batting first, they were routed for 141 which the hosts chased down in under 22 overs with 9 wickets to spare.
Akhtar criticised the team for a shocking performance and predicted a 3-0 sweep for England in the series.
“Although it was just run-a-ball and what was there in that bowling for you to have so much difficulty. The ball nibbles around a little, that itself is a lot for you. A very, very average performance," quoted Akhtar.
The Rawalpindi Express came down heavily on the poor batting display by the top and middle order.
“It has not yet happened. It is going to be 3-0. Pakistan worked hard to make sure they give an average performance. The Pakistan batting has always let us down and the same trend continues now also."
Akhtar further stated that the pitch at Lord’s wasn’t too difficult to bat on and the onus of the performance was entirely on the batsmen. He added that such defeats will deflate the mood of the fans and not inspire young kids to watch and emulate this team.
“No one enjoys criticizing anyone. But tell me, which kid will start playing cricket after watching this team? The PCB’s plan is that no one should watch or follow cricket and they don’t have to spend anything," remarked Akhtar.
Akhtar said that the Pakistani team are always in a T20 mindset and do not have the patience or the skill to last the full 50 overs.
“What was there in the wicket, first tell me that. Pakistan is only a T20 team. They play like T20 and get out like that. They lost five wickets in twenty overs. In T20s also, they score 150-175 and exactly the same in ODIs."