Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan pacer lashed out at opener Mohammad Rizwan after Pakistan lost the Asia Cup final to Sri Lanka while chasing a 171-run target on Sunday at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Mohammad Rizwan was the leading run-getter for Pakistan as he scored 55 runs but he took many balls (49) which put pressure on the others. When Pakistan was in need of big shots, Mohammad Rizwan tried to play one but lost his wicket to Wanindu Hasaranga.
Shoaib Akhtar: Mohammad Rizwan Needed Support From Others As He Couldn’t Finish The Game
It was a clinical performance from Sri Lanka with the ball as the Pakistan batters failed to live up to the expectations in the big ticket finale. Shoaib Akhtar questioned Pakistan’s team selection and lashed out at Mohammad Rizwan for not finishing the innings after spending time in the middle.
“Are we playing the wrong team time and again? There are question marks on Mohammad Rizwan because he can’t finish the game, he needs support from others.
“He played run-a-ball innings and after that, if he is not able to finish the match, then it is going to be a problem. So I think Pakistan has played very bad cricket, they should have batted first after winning the toss. Don’t know what was their plan,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
The legendary pacer further hailed the Sri Lankan team for their efforts during the tough times their country is going through and called them the best team of the tournament.
“What a great nation Sri Lanka is, look at what they have gone through for the past six months or so. They managed to come out here and they show the world that they are the best in the tournament despite having India and Pakistan there.
“I am very happy for Sri Lanka, Well Done. I am very happy for Afghanistan, they also played good cricket, but unfortunately, they lost to us (Pakistan),” Shoaib Akhtar added.
Shoaib Akhtar was also critical of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam as he struggled throughout the tournament with the bat and failed to hit a half-century.
“But, Pakistan leaked too many runs with the ball. Babar Azam didn’t score runs throughout the tournament. Class Class Class, leave the class aside. Your class only displays when you are in form.
“He is trying to hit from the first ball itself. Secondly, Fakhar Zaman doesn’t know what has happened to him. And Ifitikhar Ahmed he continues to play run-a-ball innings,” he added.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam failed to make a mark in the title clash of the Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday, as he was dismissed on 5 of six deliveries against Sri Lanka in Dubai.
Babar Azam endured a poor outing in the continental tournament this year, as he scored only 68 runs in six innings averaging only 11.33 registering the best score of 30 against the same opponents in the Super 4 game. Fakhar Zaman fared no better, registering only 96 runs averaging 16 in Asia Cup 2022. Iftikhar Ahmed scored 105 runs averaging 26.25 at a strike rate of only 100.96 in Asia Cup 2022.
Shoaib Akhtar: Sri Lanka Thoroughly Deserved This Asia Cup 2022 Win While Pakistan Can’t Play Mix-And-Match Team
Talking highly of Sri Lanka, Shoaib Akhtar extended his wishes to Dasun Shanaka-led Sri Lanka and said they have shown resilience and played a solid game of cricket.
“Overall very poor performance from Pakistan bowlers and batters. Sri Lankans, you thoroughly deserved this win, you are the best team in the team in tournament and you are going to be the best country in the world. My best wishes are with you as you have shown resilience and played solid cricket,” he added.
The 47-year-old advised the selection committee to analyze the squad and he feels it is a mix-and-match team at the moment.
“Excellent fielding effort from Sri Lanka. Our fielders are colliding on the field. Pakistan have overhyped themselves, they have played very bad cricket in all the departments.
“Absolutely horrible, I hope Pakistan learns a thing or two from here. You have to look at all the players in the middle order. The selection committee has to give a thought about their players. You can’t play the mix-and-match team,” said Shoaib Akhtar.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa formed the backbone of the Sri Lankan innings, rescuing his side from 58 for 5 with an unbeaten 45-ball 71 that saw them post 170. It was followed by a spirited showing in the field as Sri Lanka outmatched Pakistan’s intensity, with Wanindu Hasaranga and Pramod Madushan taking seven wickets between them during a listless batting performance.
Sri Lanka 170 for 6 (Rajapaksa 71*, Rauf 3-29) beat Pakistan 147 all out (Rizwan 55, Madushan 4-34, Hasaranga 3-27) by 23 runs