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NZ v PAK 2020: 'The immaturity Pakistan cricket team is showing is not shown by club-level kids also' - Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar observed the Pakistan team did not play according to the conditions
Shoaib Akhtar observed the Pakistan team did not play according to the conditions
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST
Modified 21 Dec 2020, 09:51 IST
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Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has lambasted the Pakistan cricket team for playing like novices, with no understanding of the conditions and the demands of the situation.

He made this observation while talking about Pakistan's nine-wicket loss to New Zealand in the second T20I in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

Shoaib Akhtar started by pointing out that Pakistan got off to a disastrous start, losing their first three wickets within the powerplay with just 33 runs on the board.

"I had slept after seeing the toss. And when I woke up Pakistan had scored 333 runs. When I saw again after rubbing my eyes, it was 33/3. What are the subcontinent teams doing? Why don't they let me sleep at ease?"

The Rawalpindi Express criticised the Pakistan players for their lack of understanding of the game and observed even kids would do a better job at that.

"The immaturity Pakistan cricket team is showing is not shown by club-level kids also. Even those kids understand cricket better than them. I am not able to understand in which direction Pakistan is going."

Shoaib Akhtar hit out at the entire Pakistan cricketing system including the players, team management and the cricket board for their amateurish approach.

"Immature batting, immature management, immature Pakistan Cricket Board, I am telling you in clear words."
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Shoaib Akhtar highlighted Pakistan cricket has tended to leave out players after they have developed a better understanding of their game and their respective roles. He gave the examples of Pakistan's captaincy being taken away from Sarfraz Ahmed and the repeated attempts to drop Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.

"When Sarfraz was ready as a captain, he was removed. When Hafeez was ready, they were trying to leave him out, that he should be removed as he has become old. He is not a part of your plans. Malik was ready and it was time to get the best out of him, drop him."

Shoaib Akhtar cited the example of New Zealand cricket where Kane Williamson has been leading the team for a long time and the administrators handle the affairs behind the scenes.

"Is this the managment? I will ask you, who is the New Zealand captain? Kane Williamson, who has been there for five years. Have you ever heard the name of their Board chairman or chief selector? You would not have heard any of their names."

Shoaib Akhtar highlighted that on the contrary, the Pakistan cricket administrators are more in the news than the players.

"But in Pakistan, after every one and a half days, the chief selector comes and a chairman after every two days or some parachuter comes from above."

Shoaib Akhtar on Pakistan's performance in yesterday's encounter

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Shoaib Akhtar lauded Mohammad Hafeez for saving Pakistan from humiliation
Shoaib Akhtar lauded Mohammad Hafeez for saving Pakistan from humiliation

Shoaib Akhtar criticised the Pakistan batsmen for showing no regard to the field placements and the dimensions of the ground.

"There was so much immaturity seen in Pakistan cricket team's batting lineup. They are facing one side while the shots are on the other side. They are not aware of the field placement or the gaps. It was a small ground, you could have played down the ground."

Shoaib Akhtar pointed out that the Pakistan batsmen were playing the glory shots rather than learning from Mohammad Hafeez on how to build the innings.

"You could have learnt from Hafeez how he was playing. But no, just lift your head and try hitting all over the place. I am not able to understand where the Pakistan team is going."

He even sarcastically mentioned that the Pakistan team had given a worse display than what India had done in the second innings of the Adelaide Test.

"After India gave such a great performance, we showed them that we can be one better. We played the sort of cricket that you get ashamed of."

Shoaib Akhtar hit out at youngsters like Haider Ali for falling into the traps laid out for them and for not assessing the pitch conditions.

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"The youngsters should have that much maturity to know how much bounce is there on the pitch, what shots you should play and what are your strengths. They had already laid a trap for Haider Ali. He was facing one side and hitting the shot on the other side. These things need to be learnt."

Shoaib Akhtar highlighted Mohammad Hafeez had saved Pakistan from further humiliation with his unbeaten 99-run knock.

"Other than Mohammad Hafeez it didn't look like the Pakistan team was playing. He was the saving grace else you had no idea or clue."

Shoaib Akhtar also observed that neither the spinners nor the pacers made too much of an impression, with Wahab Riaz smashed all over the park in the solitary over he bowled.

"Spinners are not spinning the ball. Wahab Riaz is getting hit continuously even after being so experienced, he is not looking serious."
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Shoaib Akhtar signed off by questioning the Pakistan cricket administration for just looking for the required personnel rather than setting things right at the ground level.

"I don't know in what direction we are going. It is just to get the person, when are you going to develop the system?"

The Pakistan batting was pegged back by New Zealand in the powerplay overs as they lost the wickets of Haider Ali, Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan to fritter away the advantage of winning the toss. Mohammad Hafeez was the only Pakistan batsman to hold his own as his unbeaten 99 helped them to a fighting score of 163/6.

But the 164-target proved to be an easy chase for the Kiwis as they romped home victors with nine wickets in hand and four deliveries to spare.


Published 21 Dec 2020, 09:51 IST
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