‘Our captain missed a trick quite a few times’: Wasim Akram disappointed with Azhar Ali’s leadership in Manchester
Pakistan cricket team missed a great chance to start their England tour on a winning note at Old Trafford in Manchester. Pakistan were dominant for the majority of the first Test and gave England a stiff target of 277 runs to chase in the fourth innings. It was the second-highest score to be chased in Manchester and the match looked in Pakistan’s favour halfway through England’s innings.
The visitors reduced England to 117-5. But the home side fought back as Jos Buttler (75) and Chris Woakes (84 not out) forged a 139-run stand to help the hosts go 1-0 up in the three-test series.
Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram was unhappy with captain Azhar Ali’s leadership in the match. Akram said that Ali “missed a trick” several times in the opening test and the three-wicket loss will hurt the team and their fans.
“It will hurt the Pakistan team and the cricket lovers in Pakistan,” former captain Akram told Sky Sports.
“Winning and losing is part of cricket, but I think our captain missed a trick quite a few times in this game, as far as his leadership is concerned.”
Akram was surprised how Pakistan, who had bowled out England for 219 in the first innings, did not try to bounce out Woakes early.
“When Woakes came in, there were no bouncers, no short deliveries, they let him settle down and runs were coming easy,” said the 54-year-old Akram.
“Once the partnership got going, nothing happened - the turn didn’t happen, swing didn’t happen - and Buttler and Woakes just took the game away.”
Akram also felt Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi, who collectively sent down 28.1 overs in the second innings, were under-bowled.
“Pakistan cricket is all about flair, unpredictability and attacking cricket. We’re not county bowlers who are just going to come and bowl line and length all day long.
“We’ve got a 17-year-old (Naseem), who bowls 90mph, a 20-year-old (Shaheen Afridi), who is around 88mph, and they should be bowling a lot more overs - 18-20 overs each innings, no matter the situation.”
(with Reuters input)