Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has pointed out that Pakistan's pacers do not have enough experience playing Test cricket, having predominantly featured in the shortest format lately.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, he stated that one must not blame Pakistan's bowling attack for their underwhelming performance on Day 1 of the Rawalpindi Test against England.
Akhtar emphasized how the new crop of seamers have not bowled long spells in red-ball cricket, saying:
"We must consider that our bowlers have come into this match after playing a lot of T20 cricket," Akhtar explained. "These bowlers have not bowled in the longest format in a year and a half.
"There is a different length needed for Test cricket. Nothing against our bowlers, because these are T20 bowlers. Have they bowled 300 overs in any season? You are asking too much from them."
Notably, Shaheen Afridi's injury has left Babar Azam and Co. with an inexperienced pace attack in their home Test series against England. While Naseem Shah made his red-ball debut in 2019, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Ali made their Test debuts in the Rawalpindi game.
"Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah are great assets" - Shoaib Akhtar on Pakistan's upcoming speedsters
Akhtar went on to say that there is no dearth of quality fast bowlers in Pakistan, labeling Haris and Naseem as invaluable assets to the national team.
He mentioned that the two bowlers gave it their all on Day 1 amid England's batters' domination. The 47-year-old added:
"I'm not going to blame the youngsters. We have some very good fast bowlers. Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah are great assets, there is no doubt about it. Haris is trying his best. He is a warrior who always keeps trying. Naseem is like that too."
England won the toss and decided to bat first on Thursday, December 1. The visitors completely outplayed Pakistan on Day 1, finishing at 506/4.
It is worth mentioning that Ben Stokes and Co. broke the record for the most number of runs scored on the first day of a Test match.