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Raja, Akhtar criticise Pakistan's ‘tame’ performance

Ramiz was baffled by the chances given to old faces

PHOTO: AFP/Reuters

Pakistan’s former opener Ramiz Raja and former fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar, in their respective Youtube channels, criticised the Men in Green’s miserable performance, after their defeat in the second Twenty20 international (T20I) against a depleted Sri Lanka side which gave the Islanders an unassailable two-nil lead in the three-match T20I series.

Raja was baffled by the chances given to old faces and criticised the bowling attack which appeared toothless against the Islanders.

“Poor performance from Pakistan in the second T20I was expected. They made so many comebacks, brought old players back. We already knew that these players did not have what it takes,” said Raja. “The bowling attack was all over the place. Shadab was completely off colour. Nobody could provide a breakthrough. You have no power hitters either. That is why I think we should have a power-hitting coach.”

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The former opener believed a change in the coaching department was necessary inorder to take Pakistan forward in the shortest format of the game.

“We will also have to reassess Misbah’s role in T20’s. He has been given too many responsibilities. You need a separate coach for the T20 format. It seems like we have gone backwards instead of forward in the shortest format,” he said.

The cricketer-turned-commentator also believes that T20 was a young man’s game and that new blood was the need of the hour for a struggling Pakistan side.

“T20 is a young man’s game. If they wanted to give a chance it should have gone to youngsters than no one would have said much about losing. Pakistan is now in a fight for survival since the T20 World Cup is just around the corner,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Akhtar termed Pakistan’s loss as ‘embarrassing’ for everyone but claimed that this could be an opportunity for change in the future.

“Pakistan lost the series which is embarrassing for all of us. We called Sri Lanka the B-team but it actually turned out to be the opposite. Pakistan has been humiliated,” said Akhtar. “But this setback can be an opportunity for Pakistan if they want to improve. They push out good players and include mediocre players.”

The former pacer called for a change in attitude from the Men in Green inorder to bring out better performances.

“We want the old attitude to come back for Pakistan. It pains us to see Pakistan going from fearless to tame,” he concluded.