“Brainless Captain,” Shoaib Akhtar Lashes Out at Sarfaraz Ahmed
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar blamed Sarfaraz Ahmed’s ‘brainless captaincy’ and the ‘clueless management’ of the Pakistan team for their heavy loss to India in Manchester on Sunday.
Despite winning the toss, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed put India into bat first and Rohit Sharma's 140 helped them set a target of 337. Pakistan, in reply, reached 166/6 in 35 overs before rain caused a temporary halt to the proceedings. On resumption, their revised target was 302 and they had to chase it down in 40 overs. Only managing to reach 212/6, they fell to their third defeat of the tournament.
"I don't understand how can a captain be so brainless, couldn't Sarfaraz think that we don't chase well. Square of the wicket is dry, the wicket is not wet. Knowing the fact and your strength is not batting it's bowling," Akhtar said on his official YouTube channel.
According to Akhtar, winning the toss was crucial aspect of the game and half the match was won had Sarfaraz decided to bat first.
"Now when you had won the toss, you had won half the match there. But what did you do? You tried that we should not win this match. Yet again, brainless captaincy, utterly stupid management." Highlighting Pakistan's in ability to chase, Akhtar referred to their defeat to India in 1999 and the previous game against Australia.
"We don't have a history of chasing. Inzamam, Yusuf, Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi all big batsmen were playing in this ground in 1999 and we had to make 227, we weren't able to do that. So when you got the chance after winning the toss you should have batted." The Rawalpindi Express also criticised the batsmen for not making use of the conditions unlike their Indian counterparts.
"There was no thinking, one-dimensional players came to bat, but the toss was very crucial to win it and in that even if Pakistan scored 260 they would have done it because the pressure is on required run rate. But who would tell them?" "I think it's a very saddening and disheartening performance by Pakistan team captain and that's why I was saying that use your head but he tried to not use his brain." Akhtar singled out pacer Hasan Ali - who went for 84 off his 9 overs - as one of the architects of the defeat.
"Yet again, our bowling, Hasan Ali, he can jump on Wagah border but when there is time to exert force, do it here. All these things look good if you take 6-7 wickets, you come here and give 82-84 runs. What mindset is this? "I think his mindset is that he wants to be a T20 player, this is his 4th or 5th match for Pakistan and see the conditions, neither there is any pace or swing. I'm failing to understand what he wants to achieve."
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