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Akhtar calls Sarfaraz ‘confused’ captain

Former pacer believes the Men in Green’s skipper needs to concentrate more on his batting

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s former pacer Shoaib Akhtar has called the Men in Green’s captain Sarfaraz Ahmed ‘confused’ for being unable to decide his number in the batting order.

While speaking in a Youtube video, Akhtar insisted that Sarfaraz needs to concentrate more on his batting than captaincy.

“Sarfaraz as a captain is confused,” said Akhtar. “I have been telling him for the past two years to bat higher up the order as Pakistan needs him more as a batsman than as a captain. If Sarfaraz score runs, it would be beneficial for him in the long run as he is facing pressure from other wicketkeepers like Mohammad Rizwan.”

The wicketkeeper-batsman batted at number five position in the second ODI against Sri Lanka, while he opted to go with number four spot during the the third ODI and first T20I.

“The decline in Sarfaraz’s form is because he has not bat for the past two years, and now he is trying to do so but is unable to score runs,” he added.

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Akhtar believes Pakistan made a mistake by dropping veteran all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez from the ongoing Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka.

“Malik and Hafeez played a major role in taking Pakistan to the number one spot in ICC rankings, so it would have been better if they played in this series,” he said.

The former pacer also asked the team to be patient with opener Ahmed Shehzad and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal since they are making a comeback.

“It is unfair to expect from Ahmed Shehzad and Umer Akmal that they would do wonders straight away, as the returning batsmen are already under pressure,” he said.