Shoaib Akhtar is not optimistic about Pakistan’s chances in the T20 World Cup.© AFP
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has slammed head coach Saqlain Mushtaq and the team management after the Babar Azam-led side crumbled to a series defeat against England. With the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia, starting later this month, Akhtar wants the management to address the issues, especially the middle-order. Having led the series 3-2 at one point, Pakistan lost the last two T20Is in Lahore after a poor show with the bat, and conceded the series 3-4.
Akhtar said that Pakistan are too reliant on their top-order, mainly Babar and Mohammad Rizwan, and that if the issues are not addressed before the start of the World Cup, the team might crash out of the tournament in the first round (group stage).
“Pakistan middle order is not good. Plus, Pakistan’s openers if they don’t perform, middle order crumbles. This is not the way to go into a world cup if you want to win the world cup. I fear that Pakistan might crash out in the first round in T20 World Cup. That’s why I had criticised Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan’s head coach) and others to get your middle order and batting order in order,” Akhtar said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.
“Somehow, they are not listening. It’s very sad to see that Pakistan is not doing well. It’s disheartening. Pakistan are in a dire situation. It’s not going to be easy for the management from here. Hopefully they learn a thing or two, start watching my videos (smiles) and improve,” he added.
Pakistan will take on arch-rivals India in their opening game of the T20 World Cup on October 23.
Prior to that, Pakistan will participate in a T20I tri-series, alongside hosts New Zealand and Bangladesh, starting October 7.
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