`Inexperience` will be Pak`s Achilles heel on England tour, say former greats

Karachi: With Pakistan returning to British soil for a full Test series after a gap of fours years, one thing that the Shahid Afridi led team surely lacks is experience, which is one of the foremost things required in England`s testing conditions.

Last time when Pakistan toured England, the batting line up consisted of seasoned players like skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq and in-form Mohammed Yousuf, and Younis Khan, however, the team still crashed to a 3-0 defeat in the series.

Afridi`s men have to play back-to-back Test series against the mighty Australians and a resurgent England, and considering the fact that there is no Yousuf and Shoaib Akhtar in the squad, their task is going be a daunting one, to say the least.

Former Pakistan greats have also highlighted that selectors have committed a blunder by leaving out players like Younis and Akhtar.

"The thing is that both Australia and England are very formidable opponents. We will need experienced players to compete in English conditions in both the series otherwise we will have little chance of doing well on the tour," The News quoted former captain Javed Miandad, as saying.

"It`s beyond my comprehension how we can leave out such experienced players and instead opt for untested rookies.It`s not fair to expect youngsters to perform in difficult playing conditions in England where Younis and Akhtar could have made the difference with their experience," he said.

Pakistani selectors have shown faith in untried youngsters like Umar Amin and Azhar Ali for the exhaustive and challenging tour.

Aamir Sohail, another former Pakistan captain, believes Pakistan will find it hard to find the right combination to tackle Australia and England.

"The thing is that Pakistan`s batsmen have struggled in the last few Test series, and now that two of our most prolific batsmen Yousuf and Younis are out we would find it even more difficult to find the right combination," Sohail said.

Sohail said that skipper Afridi will have to take responsibility and play like a batsman to bolster his team`s fragile batting line up.

"Afridi will have to play as a specialist batsman and take responsibility," the former left-hand opener said.

However, Afridi doesn`t believe that his team has little hopes of doing well in England.

"It`s true that we haven`t done well in Test cricket in recent years. It`s also true that some of our most senior batsmen are not in my squad. But the thing is that we can`t afford to sit back and fret over it. I believe that we have to be positive and expect the best from all our players, especially the youngsters," the flamboyant all rounder said.

Afridi, who hasn`t played a Test in almost four years, added that English conditions have changed over the years.

"The wickets have changed as they are more batsman-friendly than in the past. I believe that our young batters like Umar Akmal and Umar Amin will do well there," he said.



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