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Pakistan didn’t show courage in 1st Test against Sri Lanka at Galle: Shoaib Akhtar

Pakistan's collapse in the second innings allowed Sri Lanka to steal victory at Galle © AFP
Pakistan’s collapse in the second innings allowed Sri Lanka to steal victory at Galle © AFP

Karachi: Aug 11, 2014

Former Pakistan fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar has said that the players in the present team need to show more heart and courage if they are to bounce back against Sri Lanka in the ongoing series. Akhtar was critical of the team’s performance in the first Test which Pakistan lost on Sunday after being bowled out cheaply within a day at Galle.

“It was abject surrender and our players showed no heart, courage or a positive mindset. If they don’t work on these things they can’t bounce against Sri Lanka,” he said. The fast bowler said it was a fact that Pakistan presently lacked quality world class players. “It is a fact and what is worrisome is we don’t have much quality talent coming through from domestic cricket at the moment. In such circumstances the players need to put in a huge collective effort to do well and that was missing on Sunday against Sri Lanka,” he said.

Pakistan lost the first Test in an exciting finish only the 11th time in Test history that a team has lost a match after posting 450 plus in their first innings. Akhtar pointed out that at present Pakistan had no batsmen equal to the calibre of Kumar Sangakkara or Mahela Jayawardene with exception of Younis Khan. “We don’t even have a player of the calibre of Angelo Mathews who understands the game and plays according to the situation,” he said.

“I have played a lot of cricket and I know at the end of the day technique does not matter that much as does how much heart and spirit a player shows on the field in pressure situations. Against Sri Lanka in the second innings our players just played without any purpose and tried to plod away. No one tried to attack the bowling and it was disappointing to watch such a performance,” he said.

Akhtar pointed out that Test cricket had changed in the last few years since the advent of T20 cricket. “Pakistani players need to look at their approach now. They are playing at such a slow rate that they hardly manage a run rate of 3 in tests while the other teams nowadays start off with run rates of plus three and even four,” he said.

Akhtar also made the point that people needed to reconcile with the fact that Pakistan nowadays didn’t have the same quality pace attack it had few years back. “We just don’t have the quality pacers who can really bend their backs. Our bowlers just didn’t bend their backs in the first innings when we should have restricted Sri Lanka to around 400.”

Akhtar, however, still pleaded for the present team management to be given a proper run. “Give them one year two years or even three but I would say now stick with this management and let them get the results. This chopping and changing only complicates the situation,” he said.

Read: Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by seven wickets.

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad


West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test


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