2021 T20 World Cup: “Unfortunately Pakistan’s stick puts them in trouble”
Former Pakistani coach Shoaib Akhtar questioned the Pakistani hitters’ approach and felt they were to blame for their shaky batting display against Afghanistan. Babar Aza’s team emerged victorious from the Afghan challenge through five wickets in Dubai on October 29.
Bowling first, Pakistan limited the Afghan hitters to a total of 147/6 in the opening innings. The undefeated 71 * partnership between Mohammad Nabi and Gulbadin Naib has been extremely crucial for the Afghans.
While chasing the total, Pakistan lost their first in-form Mohammad Rizwan in the third round. However, with skipper Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman in the crease, the duo stabilized the situation and pulled the team down to 75 points at the end of the 11th.
Shoaib Akhtar, while reviewing the hotly contested clash, posted a video on his official YouTube. You can watch the video below:
In his video, the 46-year-old criticized the Pakistani hitters’ approach and stressed that they need to improve their hitting rate. He said:
âUnfortunately, the Pakistan hitter is giving them problems. We need to improve our hitting rate, captain included. We had to score points in the middle and we got in trouble. The captain needs to improve his hitting rate.”
Akhtar stressed that Pakistani skipper Babar Azam is a great hitter but needs to score quickly so he doesn’t get into trouble. The former speedster also felt Mohammad Hafeez to be a fabulous T20 hitter but looked out of reach against Afghanistan. Akhtar said:
âBabar Azam is a great guy, a great drummer, please improve your hitting rate so you don’t get in trouble. Hafeez looked a bit out of touch, but then again I will say he is a great batsman when it comes to T20. He needs to speed up a bit to get Asif to face a little less pressure. “
From a situation where it looked like Pakistan could completely chase the total, Afghanistan gave them a run for their money in the second half of the chase. The Afghan skipper Nabi broke the important partnership by trapping Fakhar Zaman in front of the stumps in the 12th.
Soon, Rashid Khan also sent Mohammad Hafeez and Babar Azam to pack their bags. After some limits, Shoaib Malik also lost his wicket to Naveen Ul-Haq in the 18th. However, Asif Ali’s heroism in the next round helped Pakistan cross the finish line safely and dash the hopes of Afghan fans.
“Asif Ali is the reliable Mr. of Pakistan” – Shoaib Akhtar
The former cricketer-turned-expert also praised Asif Ali, the current Pakistani sensation. Ali produced two winning cameos for Pakistan in the ongoing 2021 T20 World Cup.
After shattering a 12-ball shot from 27 races to secure Pakistan’s victory over the Black Caps, Ali delivered a commendable blow against Afghanistan. His 25-point shot in seven deliveries saw him hit a quadruple of six on the second-to-last. Ali’s sharp strikes against Karin Janat gave Pakistan two more crucial points.
Shoaib Akhtar, in his video, praised the middle-order hitter and called him “reliable Mr. from Pakistan”. Akhtar said:
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âWhat a reliable guy, Asif Ali. He only played two innings and won those games. Asif is the Pakistani guy Mr. Reliable and there’s no doubt about it. He’s a powerful hitter. A lot of our players there. including myself, have argued that Asif is one of the best players in the T20I and a finisher. “