♦ ‘Brainless captaincy’ Former pacer Shoaib Akhtar has slammed Sarfaraz Ahmed’s ‘brainless captaincy’ after Pakistan’s humiliating 89-run loss to India in the World Cup. “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, onedimensional 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.” ♦ Players unhappy: Pak media Pakistan’s humiliating defeat to India in a World Cup game in England was due to feud among players and their unhappiness with captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, local media reported Monday. A day after the defeat in Manchester on Sunday, the media here ran stories about groupings in the team and how some players wanted to topple the captain. Same old problem The Samaa news channel reported that soon after he got out, Sarfaraz allegedly lost his cool in the dressing room and accused some players including Imad Wasim and Imam-ul-Haq, of forming a group against him and not supporting him. The Duniya news channel did a similar report about how there were different groups in the team – one led by Muhammad Aamir and another led by Imad – which were letting Sarfaraz down. After the defeat to Australia, a well-known actor and cricket fan had released a voice message on the social media where he blamed Shoaib Malik, Imad, Inam and Babar among others of forming a group against Sarfaraz which had led to problems in the team. Angry captain But when contacted two players in the Pakistan team, they denied any groupings but confirmed that Sarfaraz returned to the dressing room very angry and let go at some players. “But it was more out of frustration and I don’t recall him blaming anyone or talking about groupings in the team but he did say the players needed to give more,” the player said on condition of anonymity. He insisted that all the players were heartbroken and depressed after the defeat to India but had not given up hope of qualifying for the semi-finals. ♦ ‘Sarfaraz was confused’ Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar feels Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was a “confused” man and his team lacked “imagination” during the World Cup clash against India in Manchester. “I thought he (Sarfaraz) was confused because when Wahab (Riaz) was bowling he had a short mid-wicket. And when Shadab (Khan) came on to bowl he had a slip for him,” Tendulkar told a TV channel. “In these conditions it becomes difficult for a leg-spinner to grip the ball, especially when he’s not getting the right line and length. That is not the right way to approach a big game,” he added. “They lacked imagination, lacked out of the box thinking.” Tendulkar said none of the Pakistani bowlers managed to exploit the conditions and he never felt an Indian wicket would fall because of the opposition tactics. “If the ball is not moving around much, you don’t continue bowling over the wicket, Wahab (Riaz) went around the wicket but it was too late by then,” Tendulkar opined. “Hassan (Ali) was the only guy to get the ball to move off the surface. I would have told them to change the angle and do something different. I never thought we were going to lose a wicket,” he added.
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June 13, 2019
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