ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan cricket team captain Zaheer Abbas was very disappointed with the green shirts’ performance against the minnows Zimbabwe in the first innings of the first Test.
Talking to The Nation on Wednesday, Zaheer, also known as Asian Bradman, said: “Looking at Pakistan batsmen in the first innings, it was really hard to believe that one of the top Test playing nation’s players are batting rather it seems some club cricketers are playing against fully grown men.”
“The selection of Test squad was though satisfactory yet the selectors should have made a proper strategy to take on minnows Zimbabwe. Inclusion of same old players against a very weak side makes no sense as despite playing a lot of Test cricket, they just threw away their wickets cheaply. It was not the extraordinary bowling of ordinary Zimbabwean bowlers, but it was poor selection of shots and casual approach of the batsmen which led to their downfall,” he said.
“This was the perfect platform to give chance to fresh blood, as conditions were tailor-made for youngsters to get debut against a weak opposition, but the team management knows better why they did not induct at least one or two new faces,” Zaheer added.
He said until and unless the core issues of the PCB chairman and the chief selector would not be resolved, it was highly unlikely the players would give just satisfactory performances.
Already too much precious time had been wasted on this issue of grave importance and it was matter of great significance so the government must take notice of the situation and resolve this issue, otherwise such performances would continue in future too,” the Asian Bradman added.
Zaheer said Test cricket was very different from the ODI or T20 format. “It is very demanding format in which tremendous patience, stamina and technique hold key to excel. Our batsmen looked completely out of shape and hesitant while using their front foot and the way our top players lost their wickets was very discouraging and hard to absolve,” he commented.
“Pakistani batsmen can argue lack of Test cricket behind their dismal show in the first innings. Yes no international cricket is being played in Pakistan for the last four years or so, but this is a childish thinking as a true player always show his class and caliber when it matters most. No hard feelings or disrespect to Zimbabwe team, but it is a crystal clear reality that Zimbabweans are the most weakest of all the Test playing nations and that is the reason they are sitting at the bottom of the Test team rankings. With so many experienced players in the Pakistani line up, no one expected such poor performance from the batsmen. Had Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan not batted sensibly, Pakistan could have not scored 200 runs and the way they both batted gave a clear indication that it was not the pitch or Zimbabwe bowlers, but it was the batsmen who are to be blamed for getting out cheaply,” he asserted.
“Although there is lot to play in the match and Pakistan is still not out of the match, yet the players need to bounce back quickly and overcome their minor mistakes, otherwise it's a lost cause,” Zaheer concluded.