Pakistan’s former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar doubts his country’s plan against England in the three-match Test series starting from five August. He has questioned the selection of players of the series. Earlier this week, Pakistan finalised 20 men squad for their first series since the outbreak of the coronavirus in March.
Pakistan team management shortlisted the final squad from 29 players who were sent to England in different batches due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The highlight of the squad was the inclusion of former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was dropped last year from the team, and Fawad Alam, who could make a comeback to Pakistan’s Test team after 11 years.
Zero idea what they are going to do: Shoaib Akhar
The veteran Shoaib Akhtar has raised concerns over Pakistan’s plan to combat against England’s attack. He doubts what is the mindset of captain Azhar Ali and team management behind announcing the 20-member squad.
“That we don’t know. They have announced a 20-member squad. In that twenty, there are around 22 fast bowlers. Let us see whom they select. Depends on the captain and the management, with which mindset they go in,” said Shoaib Akhtar on Geo Cricket.
“What they want and how the pitch is? How the management sees the whole scenario. Zero idea what they are going to do. When the team list comes, you will come to know the exact mindset they are going in with. So far as we know right now, nothing,” he added.
Akhtar on Azhar Ali’s captaincy
In the squad announced, Naseem Shah, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Shinwari and Mohammad Abbas are the fast bowling options Pakistan has at their disposal while Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan and Kashif Bhatti are the spinners.
Shoaib Akhtar further said he did not know if Pakistan would go into the first Test with the mindset of winning the game or drawing it. He also pointed out the lack of aggression in Azhar Ali’s captaincy so far.
“I don’t know if they are going with the mindset of going for a draw or to win. The captain or coach has to decide which fast bowler or spinner they want to go in with. I don’t know which mindset they will go in with because I have not seen the aggression in Azhar Ali’s captaincy. Once I see the bowlers in the team list, I will come to know if they are planning to win,” said the Rawalpindi Express.
Test Squad: Azhar Ali (C), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imam ul Haq, Imran Khan(Sr), Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah.