Forget 360, can Pakistan middle-order batters even play 180 degrees, questions Wasim Akram

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Wasim Akram had a conversation with one of the Pakistan players.

(Getty)

Forget 360, can Pakistan middle-order batters even play 180 degrees, questions Wasim Akram

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SportsCafe Desk

10/02/2022

Wasim Akram has slammed Pakistan middle-order batters for staging miserable shows on a regular basis in recent times. The former Pakistan skipper has remarked his countrymen do not even know how to play with the straight bat, forget about them smashing the ball to all parts of the stadium.

As Pakistan's middle-order batters continue to struggle to make some substantial contributions, the question remains how they fetch with such a unit in the upcoming T20 World Cup, starting on October 16 in Australia. Many have considered them title contenders, keeping Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and the other fiery pacers in mind, but they are yet to come out on top in the ongoing England series at home, where stalwarts such as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Liam Livingstone are not playing. At this point, the seven-match series is leveled at 3-3, with the decider to be played at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore on October 2.

Ahead of the series decider against England, former Pakistani skipper Wasim Akram showed no mercy while giving his verdict towards his country's current middle-order batters. In a conversation on television with Pakistan's former batting coach Mohammad Yousuf, Akram stated that they do not even know how to score runs by finding the gaps in the stadiums.

"If I play against Pakistan now, I will know where they want to play their shots. No one even tries. 360 is too much for them, even 180 would be enough. Do they practice this, and if yes, then why don't they apply it?” Akram bluntly asked Yousuf in a television chat.

“Who gives them the freedom and confidence to play these strokes? How do they get it? You can try in the nets, but it is difficult to do that in the game.”

Furthermore, Akram criticized Pakistan's overall performance in the sixth T20I against England, where they endured an eight-wicket defeat, courtesy of Phil Salt's brisk 41-ball 88 not out which led the visitors to chase down the 170-run target in just 14.3 overs.

“England outplayed in every aspect, in batting, fielding, and intent. England played fearless cricket (in the last game). Fearless cricket. We were more cautious after the previous games, but England were the opposite. Within the first two overs, the game got over. They never stopped. We like to take the game to the 19th over when we bat. But they just keep hitting, hitting. Opposition gets demoralized," Akram signed off.

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