Pakistan captain Azhar Ali “missed a trick” several times in the opening test against England and their three-wicket loss will hurt the team and their fans, according to bowling great Wasim Akram.
Ali and his men held the upper hand for most part of the series opener and had England, chasing 277 for victory, reeling at 117-5 at Old Trafford before England fought back.
Jos Buttler (75) and Chris Woakes (84 not out) forged a 139-run stand to help the hosts go 1-0 up in the three-test series.
“It will hurt the Pakistan team and the cricket lovers in Pakistan,” former captain Akram told Sky Sports.
“Winning and losing is part of cricket, but I think our captain missed a trick quite a few times in this game, as far as his leadership is concerned.”
Akram was surprised how Pakistan, who had bowled out England for 219 in the first innings, did not try to bounce out Woakes early.
“When Woakes came in, there were no bouncers, no short deliveries, they let him settle down and runs were coming easy,” said the 54-year-old Akram.
“Once the partnership got going, nothing happened – the turn didn’t happen, swing didn’t happen – and Buttler and Woakes just took the game away.”
Akram also felt Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi, who collectively sent down 28.1 overs in the second innings, were under-bowled.
“Pakistan cricket is all about flair, unpredictability and attacking cricket. We’re not county bowlers who are just going to come and bowl line and length all day long.
“We’ve got a 17-year-old (Naseem), who bowls 90mph, a 20-year-old (Shaheen Afridi), who is around 88mph, and they should be bowling a lot more overs – 18-20 overs each innings, no matter the situation.”
Djokovic Edges Closer To Grand Slam Record With Spot In Last Eight
Hamilton Hails ‘Mega Job’ By Mercedes, Focused On Next Year
Verstappen Wins In Spain To Continue Red Bull Sweep
Benzema Leaves Real Madrid After 14 Years At Club
Milan Say Ibrahimovic Will Not Extend Contract
Tongue Takes Five Wickets As England Crush Ireland
Ten Hag’s United “Broken” After FA Cup Final Loss To Manchester City
Jabeur Upset With Fans Reselling Tickets Due To Women’s Match In Night Session
Mbappe Targets Ligue 1 Scoring Record With PSG Next Season
Swiatek No Fan Of ‘Iga’s Bakery’ Memes After Serving Up Another Double Bagel
Messi To Leave PSG At End Of Season After Two Years At The Club
Man City Edge Closer To Treble After FA Cup Final Win Over Manchester United