ICC World Cup 2019 news: Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar criticised Sarfaraz Ahmed’s ‘brainless captaincy’ after the team’s humiliating loss against India on Sunday.
Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar on Monday lashed out at skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed for his “brainless captaincy” during the team’s humiliating 89-run defeat (via DLS method) against arch-rivals India at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester on June 16. Akhtar looked furious why still trying to figure out why Sarfaraz opted to bat first on the flat track under overcast conditions despite knowing the fact that Pakistan’s strength lay in bowling and not in chasing.
“I don’t understand how can a captain be so brainless, couldn’t Sarfaraz think that we don’t chase well. Square of the wicket is dry, the wicket is not wet. Knowing the fact and your strength is not batting it’s bowling,” Akhtar said on his official YouTube channel a day after Pakistan suffered their seventh straight World Cup defeat against India.
The captain of Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup team, Imran Khan had tweeted Sarfaraz to opt to bat first if they win the toss. Sarfaraz did win the toss, but chose to bowl instead. In reply, India notched up a massive 336 riding on the back of a brilliant 140-run knock from Rohit Sharma while KL Rahul and Virat Kohli scored their respective half-centuries. Akhtar felt Pakistan had half lost the match following the toss decision.
“Now when you had won the toss, you had won half the match there. But what did you do? You tried that we should not win this match. Yet again, brainless captaincy, utterly stupid management.”
Explaining Pakistan’s inability to chase, Akhtar cited their chase against India in 1999 despite having the likes of Inzamam ul Haq, Yusuf, Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi. “We don’t have a history of chasing. Inzamam, Yusuf, Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi all big batsmen were playing in this ground in 1999 and we had to make 227, we weren’t able to do that. So when you got the chance after winning the toss you should have batted,” he said.
Akhtar further went on to criticise the Pakistani batters who looked to lack intent in the chase. Barring the 104-run partnership between Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman, nothing seemed promising for Pakistan in the chase of 338 in Manchester.
“There was no thinking, one-dimensional players came to bat, but the toss was very crucial to win it and in that even if Pakistan scored 260 they would have done it because the pressure is on required run rate. But who would tell them? I think it’s a very saddening and disheartening performance by Pakistan team captain and that’s why I was saying that use your head but he tried to not use his brain.”
With three points from five games, Pakistan presently stand ninth in the points table. They now need to win the remaining four matches while trying to improve their net run rate – the worst among the 10 teams in the tournament. They will next face South Africa on June 23 at Lord’s before they gear up for New Zealand on June 29.