Wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal believes that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was not up to par on Day 1 of the ongoing first Test against England in Rawalpindi.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, the veteran keeper stated that Babar appeared to be clueless, having no idea how to set the field as the England batters dominated the proceedings. He opined that the side struggled as they hadn't prepared well for the crucial Test match.
"The captain had no idea where to place the fielders, and the bowlers, too, weren't able to understand anything," Akmal said. "This happened because of the lack of preparation. You cannot win in Test cricket with this approach."
England won the toss at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium and decided to bat first on Thursday, December 1. The visitors scored 506 runs for the loss of four wickets on the opening day, setting a record for the highest number of runs in the history of Test cricket on Day 1.
Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, and Harry Brook scored centuries, while Joe Root failed to make it big on a flat wicket. Zahid Mahmood picked up two wickets, while Haris Rauf and Mohammad Ali returned with one scalp apiece.
"Pakistani players didn't play in the 10th round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy" - Kamran Akmal on Babar Azam and Co.'s lack of preparation
Akmal also highlighted that none of the Test cricketers participated in Pakistan's domestic red-ball tournament to prepare for the England series.
The 40-year-old suggested that players would have gained some much-needed experience of playing the longer format by competing in the 10th round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
"Pakistani players didn't play in the 10th round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy," he added. "They would have been able to adjust to the conditions and the longer format, given that they returned after the T20 World Cup in Australia.
"Professional teams don't think in this manner, and they ensure that they prepare well. Pakistan, on the other hand, were extremely confident in their players. But we all saw what happened."
The Pakistani bowlers struggled to get going against the England batters on Day 1. The Babar Azam-led side will hope to come up with an improved performance on Day 2, hoping to power their way back into the contest.