Pakistan’s heavy defeat hurts Miandad
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s former captain and coach Javed Miandad said Saturday that the huge loss against the West Indies in Cricket World Cup was “shambolic.”
“Shambolic is a mild word ... It really hurts to see the planning of Pakistan’s think-tank,” Miandad wrote at the tournament’s website.
Fast bowler Jerome Taylor’s triple strike left Pakistan lurching at 1-4 in pursuit of 311-run target before the team was dismissed for 160 in 39 overs, failing to play out full quote of 50 overs for the second successive match.
“There were no king cobras on the pitch to scare the Pakistan batsmen. Jerome Taylor simply exploited the weakness of Pakistan batsmen by bowling in the right areas -- just outside off stump,” Miandad said.
“It was simply game, set and match at one for four after Pakistan’s top order was rolled over by Taylor.”
Pakistan lost its opening match to archrival India last Sunday and will take on Zimbabwe, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Ireland in the remaining group matches.
“The men in ‘shocking green’ look like a fractured outfit and the wounds are only getting deeper and deeper,” Miandad warned.
“The scars of defeat against India were still fresh and West Indies has simply rubbed more salt onto it.”
Pakistan top order batsmen had been struggling to cope with the wickets in Australia and New Zealand with opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad, Younis Khan and Haris Sohail all failing against the new ball.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq even promoted Younis as Shehzad’s opening partner against India, but the veteran of 263 ODIs could score only six runs and was out off the first ball against the West Indies for zero in his usual No. 3 spot.
Surprisingly, regular wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, who had score prolifically against Australia and New Zealand in last year’s test and ODI series in the UAE, is yet to get his first Cricket World Cup match. His makeshift replacement Umar Akmal looked scrappy behind the wickets while missing crucial catches in both defeats.
“The batting form of Younis Khan is crystal clearer. Misbah needs to sort out these two problems before it gets too late for him,” Miandad said.
“Look for specialized ones at the specialized spots in playing XI, no matter what price you had to pay.
“It (Pakistan) needs to put its right thinking cap on pretty quickly and win, at least, three of the next four matches to have any chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.”
Express fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar termed Pakistan’s defeat as disgraceful and criticized Misbah for not leading the team properly.
“We are leaderless. I haven’t seen such a selfish captain in the history of Pakistan cricket,” Akhtar told Geo Television from India where he is doing commentary on the World Cup.
“Everybody is playing for his own spot. There’s no comparison of this Pakistan team with the one which won the World Cup under Imran Khan in 1992.”
Akhtar said Misbah should have promoted himself, like Imran used to do during 1992 World Cup when Pakistan top order batsmen struggled.
“If Imran had promoted himself ahead of batsmen like Salim Malik, Ijaz Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Javed Miandad why can’t Misbah do?” Akhtar said.
Another former test captain Ramiz Raja described Pakistan’s fielding as “hilarious” after at least four catches went down against the West Indies with Shahid Afridi dropping two of them.
“It was really hilarious to see such a fielding performance,” Raja said.
Raja also wanted Younis to sit out and try to regain his batting form ahead of quarterfinals — if Pakistan qualifies.
“He should go back to the nets and prepare for the quarterfinals and let someone else take his place in the remaining group matches,” Raja said.