‘Pakistan might get knocked out in first round of T20 World Cup’: Akhtar blasts Babar and Co. after series defeat
Shoaib Akhtar believes that it shouldn't come as a surprise if Pakistan crashes out in the first-round of the T20 World Cup.
Pakistan and England engaged in an exciting seven-match T20I series, which the latter won 4-3. Both the teams were tied at 3-3 going into the final contest, but it was England who had the last laugh in Lahore on Sunday. The visitors triumphed Pakistan by 67 runs in the seventh and final encounter of the series, following which former pacer Shoaib Akhtar made strong claims about Pakistan's hope in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
The former cricketer believes that it shouldn't come as a surprise if Pakistan crashes out in the first-round of the showpiece event. “As I have said before, I fear that this Pakistan team can go out of the world cup in the first round itself.”
Akhtar made the claim in a video shared on his YouTube channel, also explaining the reasons behind it.
“Pakistan middle order is not good. Plus Pakistan’s openers if they don’t perform, middle order gets into pressure. This is not the way to go into a world cup if you want to win the world cup. It is very sad,” Akthar said in the video.
“That’s why I had criticised Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan’s head coach) and others to get your middle order and batting order in order. Somehow, they are not listening. It’s very sad to see that Pakistan is not doing well. It’s disheartening.
“It’s looking dire. It’s not going to be easy for the management from here. Hopefully they learn a thing or two, start watching my videos (smiles) and improve,” he further stated.
In a video shared last month, the former pacer had slammed the chief selector Mohammad Wasim, calling him an “average” and his decisions too. “Jab chief selector average hoga unke decision bhi average honge (When the chief selector is average then only average decisions would be taken),” the ex-cricketer opined about Wasim.
Akhtar didn't even spare his former teammate Saqlin, who is the head coach. Akhtar claimed that T20 is not a format suited for the coach as he retired from cricket in 2002. “Saqlain (Mushtaq) last played cricket in 2002, I don’t want to say this as he is my friend, but I don’t think he has any idea about T20 cricket. I don’t think this is your forte,” Akhtar said.
Drawing concern over the failure of the middle-order, the Rawalpindi Express wondered if batting coach Mohammad Yousuf has much say in the team.
“Meanwhile, Mohammad Yousuf is not even in the team. Had he been there, how could our batting not perform? Yousuf is an asset in the dressing room, but I don’t know how much say he has in this team. Iftikhar Ahmed is Misbah part two. Mashallah, we had Rizwan and now he has Iftikhar for company.
“With this team, we might get knocked out in the first round itself. I am really scared as our batting has no depth.
“Our captain is also not cut out for this format as he always looks for classic cover drives. He wants to look classic,” he had then stated.