KARACHI - Former Pakistan cricketers reacted with disbelief to their national team's shock defeat against Zimbabwe in the first One-day International, saying both batsmen and bowlers put up an extremely disappointing performance.
"If I was in the team management I would have not spared any of the players. It is difficult to comprehend how they could lose to a team which is struggling and placed at the bottom of the rankings," former Test leg-spinner, Abdul Qadir said. Pakistan were beaten by seven wickets in the first ODI after having won the Twenty20 series comfortably 2-0.
Despite captain Misbah-ul-Haq scoring 83 and Mohammad Hafeez 70, Pakistan could post a modest 244 for seven, and Zimbabwe comfortably reached the target in 48.2 overs to win their first ODI against Pakistan since 1998. Clearly the defeat hurt more since India had rested five of their key players including captain MS Dhoni for their recent tour to Zimbabwe but still ended up winning 5-0 with a reserve bowling line up. "The batting was a big flop as 250 is not good enough against Zimbabwe and the bowlers failed miserably. They were very, very disappointing," Qadir said.
Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas said no team should be taken lightly. "I think we underestimated Zimbabwe, specifically their batting. We played just three specialist bowlers and even they didn't impress at all. Batting and bowling are both areas of concern," he said. "I just hope this defeat is a wake up call to our boys and they come back strongly in the remaining games. But definitely the batsmen need to play more aggressively and create momentum," Zaheer added. Former coach and Test batsman Mohsin Khan said he was appalled by the defeat as there was no match between the two sides in terms of experience and talent.
"We didn't take their challenge seriously and we just played very poorly and that is a not a good sign as we have to play South Africa and Sri Lanka in full series' this year," he said. Mohsin also said there was a total lack of planning. "The batting order didn't work and I didn't see the purpose of sending in young Haris Sohail at number seven behind Shahid Afridi when there were plenty of overs to play. I got a feeling the Pakistani batsmen panicked and lost momentum in the last 15 overs and that is a major area of concern. "The bowling was also a major let down. Against Zimbabwe you expect Irfan, Junaid and Saeed to take more wickets," said Mohsin.