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Former Pak captains slam team after Test loss

Former Pakistan captains express their disappointment over their team's loss in the First Test against India in New Delhi.

cricket Updated: Nov 26, 2007 19:12 IST

Former Pakistan captains today expressed anguish over the first Test defeat to India in New Delhi with Rameez Raja accusing some players of only playing to maintain their places in the team.

Rameez said there was a need for radical steps to be taken to overhaul the Pakistan cricket system.

"I just feel after watching the one-day series and the Test that a tendency of selfishness has crept into the performance of some players. They are only playing for themselves and not for the team," he said.

"And until the players give priority to the team, the performances will not improve," he told the 'Express' newspaper.

Rameez, who is in India as commentator, also alleged that there were some people in Pakistan cricket who had their own agendas and were not sincere about improving cricket in the country. Former players needed to be involved to scout out new talent, he said.

"There is a dearth of good openers and bowlers in Pakistan. There is no doubt about that."

Javed Miandad, who had also been national coach three times, lamented that the batsmen were just not playing Test cricket as it should be played.

"There was nothing wrong with the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch. The players just needed to apply themselves and play patiently. It is shocking the way some of them got out. With this attitude how can you win matches at the top level," he questioned.

Former wicketkeeper Rashid Latif said Pakistan had lacked the mental strength and reserve to outplay India.

"There were moments in the Test when we could have shut out India from the match but we lost those moments due to careless and unprofessional play," he observed.

"What is the use of runs and wickets if they are not meant for the team and don't come under pressure," Latif said.

He, however, praised Shoaib Akhtar's bowling insisting he needed more support at the other end.

Former Test opener Mohsin Khan said Pakistan had lost the match by being bowled out for just 231 in the first innings.

"We squandered the advantage of batting first on this sort of a pitch. If we had played with enough concentration and application and set India a target of around 300 runs, we would have won this Test. Sadly that application and character was missing from our batting."

Former pacer Azeem Hafeez said the way the batsmen were playing, it appeared they were still in one-day mode.

"The Indians scored runs when it mattered the most. We couldn't do that. Misbah, Butt, Younis, Yousuf, Malik all got out after getting good starts. They played careless cricket."

He said no Pakistani liked to lose to India and it was time the players put in more efforts to at least draw the series.

"No team from Pakistan has lost a Test series in India since 1979-80 and it would be a shame if this record is also broken. Our batsmen need to show more responsibility and bat for long periods."

The feeling of disappointment was also visible on the streets among cricket fans.

"Already there is despondency in the country because of political uncertainity and now we also have to accept this defeat to India. It is shameful," Mohammad Nazir, a student, said in a phone-in show on television.

Housewife Zakia Hussain said the players did not show the intensity that marked previous Pakistan sides when playing against India.

"They have just lacked the body language and intensity which were the hallmark of our former players when they played India," she told.

First Published: Nov 26, 2007 18:43 IST