Former Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar has chastised Babar Azam’s Pakistan cricket team for their average performance with the bat that handed them a series loss against England on Saturday. Akhtar also predicted that Pakistan will be white-washed by England in the final game.
The Ben Stokes-led inexperienced English team outclassed Pakistan’s full-strength squad with a thumping 52-run win in the second ODI, which was reduced to 47 overs after rain-interruption, to take an unassailable 2-0 lead at Lord’s on Saturday.
Despite a supreme performance with the ball by Hasan Ali, who starred with figures of 5/51 that helped bowl out England for 247, Pakistan failed to chase the target thanks to yet another dismal batting performance, falling short of the target by 52 runs.
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar expressed his disappointment over the Men in Green's series loss and calling their performance 'average'. Akhtar also predicted a clean-sweep for England come the third ODI.
“It has not yet happened. It is going to be 3-0. Pakistan worked hard to make sure they give an average performance. The Pakistan batting has always let us down and the same trend continues now also,” Akhtar told Boss News, reported Hindustan Times.
"Although it was just run-a-ball and what was there in that bowling for you to have so much difficulty. The ball nibbles around a little, that itself is a lot for you. A very, very average performance,” he added.
England bowlers Lewis Gregory (3/44), Saqib Mahmood (2/21) and Craig Overton (2/39) tore Pakistan’s top-order and brought them down to 87/5 by the end of the 20th over. Akhtar commented that Pakistan are adept at scoring on flat wickets in 20-over cricket, but lose the plot while asked to pace their innings in 50-over cricket.
"What was there in the wicket, first tell me that. Pakistan is only a T20 team. They play like T20 and get out like that. They lose five wickets in twenty overs. In T20s also, they score 150-175 and exactly the same in ODIs,” Akhtar said.
Pakistan play England in the third and final ODI of the series on July 13, Tuesday, at Edgbaston in Birmingham.