Pakistan cricket team
Pakistan recently suffered a Test series clean sweep at the hands of South Africa (AFP Photo)

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif on Thursday slammed the selectors and team management for their extended Champions Trophy hangover and “inappropriate preparation” as reasons for their downfall in Test cricket.

“One of the main problems was the extended hangover of the 2017 Champions Trophy triumph. Captain, coaches, management, selection committee or the board, everybody was under the influence of the historic feat longer than required,” Dawn quoted Latif, as saying.

After the Champions Trophy, Pakistan team had played 13 Test matches, lost eight and won four.

The 50-year-old questioned the selectors and team management for taking an unprepared team to the recent South Africa three-Test match series which resulted in an embarrassing defeat as the Proteas won 3-0.

“Preparations were not up to the mark. In the first Test, Azhar Ali came to bat at number four, who never played at this slot. In the second innings of the second Test, Azhar was pulled back at number three while Fakhar Zaman batted at number six. This is the reflection of bad preparation and is indicative of the fact that Pakistan lacked middle-order batsmen on the challenging tour,” he added.

Latif also pointed out that the team management has been carrying Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali for the last one year but they are not given proper chances and were dropped from the highly important tour of South Africa.

Reflecting on the team selection for the limited-overs, Latif said: “Along with Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Usman Shinwari, Shan Masood has also been included in the ODI squad which I feel is an awkward move. No doubt Shan’s performance in the South Africa Test matches was brilliant but it does not warrant an alteration to the combination of the limited-overs team.”

When asked about Sarfraz’s captaincy in the longest version of the game, former captain said that it is true that there are flaws and weaknesses in his approach as in the last 18 months, 10 bowlers and as many as 10 batsmen have been changed, which is not the right way of working.

Latif feels with the World Cup around the corner, major changes presently are not advisable and the team should work on achieving stability in each department.

The 15 white-ball matches left for green caps prior to the World Cup against South Africa, Australia and England are going to be very crucial. “Pakistan also have to look for a power-hitter as no one, other than Fakhar, is in sight at the moment. Imam-ul-Haq performance will be under the scanner too,” Latif concluded.