Akhtar`s remarks on Indian batting icons in bad taste: Shoaib Malik

Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik feels his ex-teammate Shoaib Akhtar`s remarks against Indian icons Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in his autobiography were in "bad taste" and he should have been more careful while commenting on such legends.

Malik said while he was not taking the book, `Controversially Yours`, too seriously but Akhtar should have been guarded while passing judgements.

"Shoaib should have been careful while talking about cricketers who are legends in their countries whether it is Pakistan or India. You shouldn`t be so judgemental when talking about great players because it is in bad taste," Malik said.

Akhtar has been widely criticised for his disparaging remarks against Tendulkar and Dravid by fans and former players alike.

Talking about his own cricketing future, Malik, who is eager to cement back his place in the national squad, said he considers Test cricket the ultimate challenge for any player.

The all-rounder also said he had no interest in the captaincy and was only focusing on cementing his place in the national team.

"Captaincy is not an issue for me nor am I thinking about it because frankly speaking at present I am fortunate to get another chance and make a comeback to the national side. The tour to Zimbabwe was a disappointing one for me and at present I know I need to justify my place in the side," he said.

Malik admitted that he had struggled on returning to international cricket after nearly a year in Zimbabwe. "It is never easy for any player to make a comeback after such a long period to international cricket. One has to struggle to find one`s rhythm and form again. That is what happened to me in Zimbabwe and I myself want to first justify myself being in the national side," Malik said.

Malik, who returned to the side for the Zimbabwe tour in August after being ignored by the selectors for nearly 12 months, struggled to get going in the One-day internationals and Twenty20 matches.

Malik said he wanted to shed the tag of just being a limited overs cricket. Malik has played just 32 Tests but appeared in 195 ODIs and 34 Twenty20 internationals.

"I don`t like being labeled that because to me Test cricket matters a lot and it remains the real challenge for me. As soon as I came back I said to myself first establish yourself in the Test side and that is what I aim to do in the coming months," he said.

Malik said the 12 months he was not considered for national selection had been tough for him but his wife, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, and his family had been a source of great support to him.

"It was tough but they were by my side all the time and it helped me through. Now that I am back I know it is not going to be easy because international cricket is tough but I have developed this urge and hunger to be successful and I know I can do it even at the Test level," he said.


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