Legendary pacer stressed on the importance of the head coach and chief selector working together for the betterment of the team
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has stated that a person who has the same mindset like him should be in charge of the national selection committee.
While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Akhtar stressed on the importance of the head coach and chief selector working together for the betterment of the team.
“Nobody has approached me for the role of chief selector,” said Akhtar. “Be it me or any other person, the important thing as chief selector is the change in mindset — which we desperately need. That person and the head coach need to be on the same page for the betterment of the team.”
“But I do know that the general public wants someone who thinks like me in charge of selecting players. A person who is straightforward and demands performances from the cricketers,” he added.
He also spoke about the reasons behind Pakistan’s defeat at the hands of England in the recently concluded Test series.
“Pakistan lost the Test series by losing just one session, which was their batting in the second innings of the first Test,” he said. “The presence of defensive mindset, which has been there for the past 15 years, is hurting the side.”
“It was always going to be a difficult tour especially bearing in mind the bio-secure bubble. But having said that, the transfer of knowledge from the experienced coaching staff to the players was not visible. We have good players but they need aggression, especially the bowlers,” he added.
He was also unimpressed with middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq, who failed miserably over the course of the three Tests.
“Asad Shafiq looks lost on the field and does not know what to do. Whenever he is out there, it looks like he is playing his first Test,” he said. “Even after playing so many Tests, we have failed to make him a star.”
The world’s fastest bowler also spoke about the future of veteran all-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.
“We have invested 18 years on the likes of Hafeez and Malik and utmost pressure should be put on them, ahead of the T20 World Cup. We should tell these guys that if you don’t perform, we will hold you responsible for last 18 years,” he said.
Akhtar, who routinely faces criticism for praising Indian players on social media, also urged people to look at stats before voicing their opinions.
“Why should I not praise Indian players and Virat Kohli? Is there any player in Pakistan, or all over the world, which comes close to Kohli? I don’t know why people are angry, they should go look at the stats first before criticising me,” he said. “There was a time when Indians wanted to be like Pakistan players but now it’s the other way around."