Wasim Akram urges Pakistan batsmen to play their natural game
August 31, 2012
Legendary pacer Wasim Akram feels the negative mindset of Pakistan batsmen is the main reason behind their poor performance in limited-over games of late.
“I think the team management, including the coach, also needs to install confidence in the players. They need to tell these players to go out and play their natural game,” Akram told Geo News channel.
Wasim Akram’s comments came after Pakistan faced a four-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the opening One Day International of the three-match series, played at Sharjah, UAE, on Tuesday.
In the series opener, the Pakistan batsmen once again failed to put up a par total on the board, as the whole team was bowled out for just 198 in 45.1 overs. Seven batsmen fell for single digit scores.
The Men in Green looked in a position to post a respectable total after reaching 160 for four in the 36th over, courtesy Asad Shafiq (56) and Umar Akmal (52). But they failed to cross the 200-run mark, after losing their last six wickets for just 38 runs in the next 10 overs. The meagre total was comfortably chased down by the mighty Aussies, in the penultimate over, with four wickets to spare.
Wasim Akram, the veteran of 104 Tests and 356 ODIs, noticed that the Pakistan batsmen were afraid of playing shots during the powerplays. He urged the top order of Pakistan to change its mindset and play aggressive cricket, at least in the mandatory powerplay.
“The power play period must be utilised fully. I feel our batsmen are scared to play their natural and are getting into trouble,” said the left-arm pacer.
It may be noted here that on Tuesday, Pakistan lost three wickets in the mandatory powerplay and three in the batting powerplay.
After an impressive 2011 season, Pakistan cricket team has been struggling to impress in the limited-overs format since the start of this year. They faced a 4-0 whitewash at the hands of England in February and recently lost an ODI series to Sri Lanka with a 3-1 margin. Batting has been their major let down in both the series.
The second ODI between Pakistan and Australia will be played at Abu Dhabi on August 31.