Saeed Ajmal: England And India Have Two Teams Now, Our One Is Struggling To Survive

England And India Have Two Teams Now, Our One Is Struggling To Survive, Says Saeed Ajmal

Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal retires with a ‘heavy heart’. (Source: AP)
Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal retires with a ‘heavy heart’. (Source: AP)

Saeed Ajmal was feeling dejected following Pakistan’s recent pathetic performance as they were whitewashed by 2nd string England in the three-match ODI series. Saeed Ajmal highlighted how India and England have enough quality players to form two international-standard teams while Pakistan is struggling to build even one decent side.

England was rocked before the start of the ODI series as COVID-19 cases emerged inside their main squad’s bio-bubble.

In response, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) named an entirely new side, which included nine uncapped players, for the three ODIs against Pakistan. On the other hand, India is fielding two sides simultaneously-one in England for Tests and another in Sri Lanka to play 3 ODIs and as many T20Is.

Saeed Ajmal (Reuters Photo)
Saeed Ajmal (Reuters Photo)

Saeed Ajmal Dejected At Pakistan’s Series Whitewash Against Second String England

Many saw Pakistan as favourites to win the series at that point, with England fielding a second-string side. But the hosts prevailed and blanked Pakistan in all three ODIs.

A deflated Saeed Ajmal took to his official YouTube channel to vent his frustration: “Babar Azam has scored 14 hundreds in 81 innings.What should I say now? Even after playing a brilliant innings he had to return to the pavilion frustrated (after Pakistan’s loss). It used to happen to me as well. I took five wicket hauls but the team used to lose. I can only see two or three top players.”

James Vince drives through the covers during his maiden England hundred Getty Images
James Vince drives through the covers during his maiden England hundred Getty Images

The former Pakistani spinner added: “Even in bowling, apart from two or three bowlers, I don’t see any of them (of quality).

“How will we survive like this? Our middle order is still a flop. If the top order performs then only we can put commendable score. Whenever the top order fails our teams get completely bogged down. England and India have two teams now, our one is struggling to survive.”

After being thrashed in the first two ODIs, Pakistan batsmen tried their best in the third ODI but even that was not enough. Captain Babar Azam slammed a record-breaking 158 – his highest and the most by any Pakistan player against England – to lead his side to 331 for 9. But in reply, James Vince hit his maiden ODI ton and Lewis Gregory scored a crucial 77 off 69 balls as England reached home in 48 overs with three wickets in the bank.

Saeed Ajmal Blasts Pakistan Cricket Board’s Ever-Changing Selection Policies As Players Are Picked Despite Not Having Requisite Fitness Standards

Saeed Ajmal was also dismayed by Pakistan’s ever-changing selection policies. The former spinner noted how for the last three years there has been a talk of trying out youngsters and selecting players based on fitness standards.

However, Pakistan has now seemingly gone back on that as they have selected the likes of Azam Khan and Sharjeel Khan for T20Is based on their skills, with fitness standards taking a back seat.

Ajmal explained: “What are you preparing for? We have been crying for three years that we need to play youngsters and we need to improve on our fitness levels. What did you achieve? Now we have once again come back to- leave fitness level, we need talent now. Now you have brought in Sharjeel Khan, Azam Khan.

“Now, you have started saying we want to see skills in players’. Fitness is important but don’t have such poor policies where players lack fitness and skills.”

Sharjeel Khan and Azam Khan
Sharjeel Khan and Azam Khan. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

With little time to dwell on these losses, Pakistan will be keen to bounce back when they take on England in a three-match T20I series, starting on July 16.

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