Saturday, October 14, 2023

Shoaib Akhtar slams Pakistan batters for failure to 'capitalise on great pitch'

Ex-pacer says it is "very disheartening to see Pakistan losing on a very good track" as national batting line-up collapses terribly

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar in this still taken from a video. — X@shoaib100mph
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar in this still taken from a video. — X@shoaib100mph

Former Pakistan speedster and cricket critic Shoaib Akhtar on Saturday expressed disappointment over the lackluster performance by the Men in Green in the World Cup 2023 clash against India.

Pakistan were all bowled out just for a meagre 191 runs as their batting order collapsed following the wicket of skipper Babar Azam, who scored a commendable half-century in the most anticipated cricket match at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.

Earlier, India won the toss and asked the Green Shirts to bat first, which the former pacer said was not a wise decision as the pitch is being considered a high-scoring one.

However, Akhtar's remark was soon proved wrong as the entire batting lineup trampled and Pakistan were restricted to only 191.

Reacting to the disappointing show, the former seamer said that it was a "waste of opportunity on a great batting wicket".

He posted a video on the microblogging site, X, saying that all the Pakistani batters got a great platform to score but they failed to capitalise on it.

"Yes. So you have seen the match, what a beautiful wicket it was, what a great platform all of them got, but Pakistan couldn't capitalise. Pakistan didn't have that talent to score big and capitalise on the situation, very disheartening to see Pakistan losing on a very good track," Akhtar said in the video.

He questioned why the batters played with cross feet and bat when the ball wasn't swinging much.

For India, Akhtar commended Rohit Sharma for captaincy and utilising the bowlers.

Later, the former cricketer wrote on X that Pakistan lacked the "fire" that is required to silence such a massive crowd at the world's biggest cricket stadium.

"Sawa lakh banda akele chup kerwanay k liye fire chahiye hota hai. Yeh sirf tab ho sakta hai jab aap k andar wo aag ho [To silence 150,000 people singlehandedly requires the fire. This is only possible when you have that fire inside you," the ex-cricket star said. 

Following the dismissal of the openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq, the team's innings was revived when Pakistan skipper Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan came to the ground.

Babar and Rizwan put on 82 runs for the third wicket to rebuild the innings. But Babar fell soon after getting to 50 in the high-voltage clash.

Pakistan reached 157-3 in 31 overs in front of a crowd dominated by Indian spectators after delays in visas for Pakistan fans.

Later, Rizwan was also sent packing, and it went downhill from there as none of the players — except Hasan Ali — scored in double digits.

The Green Shirts could only set a target of 192 against India, and the Men In Blue are expected to chase it with ease.