Karachi: Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has criticised Pakistan’s dismal performance in the second Test against England, saying that the team’s batting got completely exposed.
England beat Pakistan yesterday by a massive 330 runs to win the second Test at his Old Trafford home ground on Tuesday.
“One saw no planning in the entire match from a Pakistani perspective and as expected our batting has been badly exposed by the England bowlers,” Akhtar said.
“You can say our batting has been unmasked and exposed on a pitch which had bounce and nothing more. Our batting always struggles on surfaces with bounce that is why we toil in England and Australia,” he said.
Akhtar said he was very disappointed with the performance of the bowlers as well.
“There was no game plan on how to bowl on the Old Trafford pitch and the line was just not right and the intent was missing throughout the England innings,” he added.
Akhtar said Pakistan would find it very difficult to comeback in the series now after such a demoralising defeat.
Former Test captain Ramiz Raja said the defeat was the continuation of Pakistan cricket woes. “Our biggest problem is that our players just don’t adapt quickly enough to different conditions. And the problem of consistency remains as usual,” he said.
Ramiz didn’t believe that complacency was the reason for the big defeat.
“England just came better prepared this time. At Lord’s the conditions suited Pakistan because of the low bounce. At Old Trafford they made sure there was plenty of bounce in the surface,” he said.
Another former captain Muhammad Yousuf also lamented that the Pakistani batsmen just didn’t show the quality on a pitch on which it was inexcusable not to get a big score.
“I expected players of the calibre of Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq to get hundreds here. The pitch was good for batting. I just can’t fathom what Younis is trying to do batting the way he is,” he said.
Yousuf said England had now got their confidence back in a big way after going down in the first Test and at Edgbaston Pakistan would have to perform outstandingly to prevent the host teams from taking a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
Former wicketkeeper-batsman, Rashid Latif said he didn’t believe Pakistan was yet out of the series.
“Two matches remain and this Pakistan team has lot of potential. At Old Trafford the batting was horrible and there was no excuse for the poor show by our batters. They need to sit down and start afresh. For senior players like Hafeez and Younis to throw away their wickets after good starts is just not acceptable at this level,” he said.
Pakistan’s former head coach Waqar Younis said that there was no excuse for the batting shambles.
“I am not saying we should have won this Test but this is not the way to go down. The spineless batting would have given the England bowlers a lot of confidence now.”
Waqar also felt that the Pakistan Cricket Board really needed to take up on war footing the issue of foreign teams not touring Pakistan.
“Our cricket is suffering a lot because of no international cricket at home since last six years,” he said.
Former Test opener and head coach Mohsin Khan said the Pakistan team simply collapsed under pressure and the batsmen just didn’t try to dominate the bowlers.
“Our batsmen just couldn’t take the pressure in this Test. At this level, for a team ranked number three you expect quality batting performances. What we saw at Old Trafford was heart breaking for cricket fans,” Mohsin added.
Mohsin defended that the Pakistani batsmen were playing outside Asia after three and half years and their techniques had been affected by constantly playing on low bounce tracks in UAE.
“But most of our batsmen carry lot of experience and they should have put up a fight on a pitch which was not bad for batting at all,” he said.
Former batting legend Hanif Muhammad had a word of advise for Younis, who is Pakistan’s highest Test run-getter.
“At his age and time he shouldn’t try to change his technique and that to on English pitches. He will find it hard to adjust himself,” Hanif said.