Akram slams Pakistan captain, senior players
New Delhi: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram on Thursday slammed current skipper Shahid Afridi for making all the wrong moves during the all-important semifinal clash against the arch-rivals India.
"When Afridi came into bat there was no planning. He batted at No 7 throughout the tournament but in a pressure game, he came at No 8. Even if you have dropped yourself down the order then why he didn`t take the batting powerplay defies logic," Akram said.
"As a captain one has to lead by example and that was not the case with Afridi," he added.
Afridi, who is the highest wicket-taker in the tournament so far with 21 wickets, went wicket-less yesterday in the high-pressure match and also disappointed with the bat as Pakistan failed to break their World Cup jinx against India, going down by 29 runs in Mohali.
"What I gauged in this tournament about Afridi`s approach as a skipper was that he was more concerned about containing runs than getting wickets.”
"This ploy works in T20s, not in ODIs. He has to strategise for the bowlers to hatch a plan to get wickets. I hope Afridi learns from his mistakes very quickly," said the former pace legend.
Having restricted India to 260, Pakistan failed to build partnerships during their chase for victory and Akram believes the senior players should have taken more responsibility.
"I failed to understand what Misbah-ul-Haq was trying to do. He scored the first 10 runs off 32 deliveries. Misbah was the one who put pressure on Umar Akmal and in turn he (Umar) lost his cool against Harbhajan Singh.
"So I think senior batsmen should sit down, look at the mirror and assess themselves -- including Younis Khan – what have they done for their team in this ICC Cricket World Cup and whether they deserve a place in the team?" shot Akram.
He, however, heaped praises on left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz, who finished with impressive figures of five for 46.
"Riaz bowled beautifully under pressure. He is the future of Pakistan cricket and I am happy that he performed at the big stage," said Akram.
The 44-year-old former cricketer also said that it was high time that Pakistan should bring in young blood into the team.
"Shoaib Akhtar is history now and it`s time for the young generation to take over. We have got enough talent. We might take a series or two to get going but finally we will pick ourselves up.”
"But for this to happen the management should take a brave step which I am afraid they will ever do," said Akram.