The independent voice of cricket

England v Pakistan

‘They look like a club level team’ – Akhtar slams Pakistan after ’embarrassing’ performance

Pakistan Akhtar
by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan quick, has slammed the side for their “embarrassing” performance in the ongoing Test series against England, saying that Azhar Ali-led side “looked like a club team”.

Akhtar unleashed a scathing assessment on his YouTube channel after the end of the second day of the third Test, where Pakistan had lost three wickets for 24 in response to England’s declared total of 583-8,

Akhtar said that the team needed an “injection of aggression”, criticising the laid-back attitude of the bowlers who weren’t willing to learn from England’s quicks, allowing the batsmen – Zak Crawley, in particular –  to stack runs.

“You must have seen Jofra Archer’s bowling today –  as soon as he came in, he tried three, four things –  bouncer, back of length, fuller one also – their method is to keep trying out. Pakistan bowlers keep bowling in the same area, don’t know what they have been taught to do. They’re just giving knocking practice to the batsmen. Naseem Shah keeps bowling the same thing. Neither did I see slower one, nor a bouncer, nor did I see any method to it all. Jimmy Anderson took three wickets [on day two], all three pitched in different areas, he used the crease well. We’re lacking aggression. We are not net fast bowlers, we are Test fast bowlers – we need to test the batsmen.

“England kept scoring at will, Crawley kept hitting, it’s his eighth Test, and he’s ready to be the Man of the Match.”

Akhtar felt that Pakistan, who have won at least one Test in all but one of their visits to England, should be ashamed of their performance this time out.

“Pakistan looked like a very ordinary team. The way they’re playing, it’ll be the biggest overseas defeat since 2006. They haven’t been given an injection of aggression. Naseem Shah needs to be taught, shown clippings of our great fast bowlers. It’s a very embarrassing performance by Pakistan, let’s put it this way. I don’t feel nice at all making this video because Pakistan just wasn’t there in the Test series.

“I was very hopeful that Pakistan will go in with a lot of attitude – the attitude was positive in the first Test, they played really well, but since then, it’s our misfortune that the batsmen gave up, they really got shackled up, I don’t know why. And then, it kept deteriorating. I couldn’t see that Pakistan was interested in winning this Test series somewhere. The performance they showed today [in all aspects] was really embarrassing to see, they didn’t show any fightback.

“This scared mentality has to change. We’ve spent 15 years, we’re tired now, leave it now. We need a refreshing change now. It’s very embarrassing to see the Pakistan team look like a club level team, we conceded 550-575 runs. Crawley was kind enough to get out, he should have scored 300. Really good effort by him. He’s set to become Man of the Match in his eighth Test, some can’t get the award after 30 games.

“We need a serious decision now. PCB needs to see if we can we go ahead with this mindset or not. I don’t think so. People have stopped watching the game in Pakistan, we need to get them back.”

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99