KARACHI: Pakistan saved themselves from a humiliating whitewash after chasing down a score in excess of 300 for only the seventh time in their history and register a four-wicket win over hosts England.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed was the star of the show with the bat as his 90 off just 73 balls helped Pakistan reach 304-6 in reply to England’s 302-9. Sarfraz was well supported by Shoaib Malik, who scored 77, with the two involved in a 163-run stand.
However, despite the win, former Pakistan internationals have asked the management to make changes if they are to cope with the unique demands of modern day limited-overs cricket as Azhar Ali’s ‘out-dated’ team lost the series 4-1.
Pakistan beat England by four wickets, avoid whitewash
Need a change in mentality, says Bari
Former chief selector and Test wicketkeeper Wasim Bari demanded a shift in mentality rather than mere cosmetic changes in the side.
“We don’t have ODI and T20I teams that can compete with the major powers of the world,” he said. “We first need accept that we need changes similar to those which England and New Zealand have had; you need to catch the bull by the horns.”
Bari claimed that little is going to be gained by changing skippers unless the new captain brings about a cultural change such as the one Brendon McCullum brought for New Zealand.
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“We aren’t going to gain much replacing Azhar unless we can transform the team and fix the dearth of power-hitters in the top and lower orders,” said Bari. “McCullum transformed New Zealand with a change in their approach. How long are we going rely on discarded players?”
Bari questioned the selection of fast-bowler Umar Gul in the team for the England series but did sympathise with the 32-year-old for not getting a consistent run in the series.
“We still don’t have clear answers about Gul’s fitness and form since he wasn’t given an extended and consistent run,” he said. “Also I really want to know what is the future of Ahmad Shahzad and Umar Akmal? If they have served their punishments then shouldn’t they get an opportunity now, especially considering the lack of firepower in our batting?”
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Chopping and changing hurting Pakistan: Akram
Former bowling coach and fast-bowler Mohammad Akram echoed Bari’s statements and asked for a policy through which the earmarked players get a proper run in the team.
“Pakistan made two to three changes every game in this series,” said Akram. “The players feel incredibly insecure in such situations; they don’t have depth in our squad, so the changes didn’t make much sense either. Unless the management backs the players and share their vision with them, we can’t expect them to deliver, especially when they are so low on confidence.”
Akram hoped that the team management and selectors will sort out the issues that have regularly plagued the team in recent years.
“We need to follow proper plans and every plan should come with a vision — replacing people for the sake of replacement will only cause more chaos,” he said. “A thorough review of our resources is needed and the remedies for the ailments must be worked out after closely evaluating the causes of our failures.”
Courtesy : Express Tribune