Akhtar should quit Tests to prolong career: Waqar | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Akhtar should quit Tests to prolong career: Waqar

Waqar Younis today advised Shoaib Akhtar to forget about playing the longer version of cricket and concentrate on just one-day internationals and Twenty20 cricket to prolong his international career.

cricket Updated: Jan 22, 2009 12:41 IST

Former Test captain and fast bowler Waqar Younis of Pakistan on Thursday advised Shoaib Akhtar to forget about playing the longer version of cricket and concentrate on just one-day internationals and Twenty20 cricket to prolong his international career.

Waqar, one of Pakistan's finest fast bowlers who finished with over 800 wickets in Test and one-day matches, told PTI he believed that Shoaib needed to quickly take some decisions.

"I know he has said he wants to play on for another three or four years. But I don't think he can now handle the pressures and demands of five-day cricket," he said.

Waqar felt Shoaib with his current form and fitness would not be able to deliver in Test matches.

"He is a very good bowler but I think he would be well advised to restricting his career to one-day and Twenty20 matches that way I can see him carry on for another two or three years," Waqar said.

The controversial Shoaib Akhtar has come under lot of pressure after a disappointing return to Pakistan's one-day squad in the home series against Sri Lanka.

In the two matches he has not bowled well enough to get his full quota of 10 overs and has taken just one wicket at a heavy cost.

In both games he has struggled with his fitness on the field. Waqar said every fast bowler had to be flexible and make adjustments to survive for long in international cricket.

"You can't always bowl consistently at a pace of around 145 and 150. Age and time takes a toll on the body and I think Shoaib can still serve Pakistan cricket by taking some tough decisions about his bowling and choice of matches."

Waqar said there was no doubt that Pakistan had some exciting young pace bowlers waiting in the wings.

"I don't think there is going to be any problem with our pace bowling resources in future. And the already established bowlers including Shoaib will face stiff competition in future so it is better they adjusted accordingly in the team," he said.

He said the good thing was that some exciting young players were coming up in domestic cricket and added that he would have no problems working with them if the Cricket Board asked him to offer his services as a bowling coach or consultant.

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik also openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the performance and fitness of Shoaib against Sri Lanka, saying he would ask the selectors and management to try out young bowlers.