Former cricketers question Nasir Jamshed's selection

 Former cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Yousuf today expressed surprise over selection of opener Nasir Jamshed as a replacement for injured Muhammad Hafeez in the World Cup squad.

PTI| Updated: Feb 09, 2015, 09:39 AM IST
Former cricketers question Nasir Jamshed's selection

Karachi: Former cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Muhammad Yousuf today expressed surprise over selection of opener Nasir Jamshed as a replacement for injured Muhammad Hafeez in the World Cup squad.

"I just don't understand what the tour selection committee and management is doing. I would have thought that Shoaib Malik or Saeed Ajmal would have been better choices to replace Hafeez," Akhtar said.

The former fast bowler pointed out that Malik had recently played a lot of cricket in Australia and his experience would be invaluable to the team in the World Cup. "This Pakistan squad is not balanced and I just don't know what the final playing eleven is going to be now," Akhtar added.

He also made it clear that if the team fared badly in the World Cup then all office bearers and officials should hold themselves responsible and there should be no passing of the buck.

On the Pakistan and India opening match on February 15, Akhtar said the Adelaide pitch was very good for batting and he would prefer to play just two specialist pace bowlers and rely on spinners.

"Both sides have been struggling in recent times so it should a good close contest but in my view the approach of the captain will decide this very big match," he added. He noted that Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not a great player but he had earned respect by coming to the rescue of his team time and again under pressure.

"He leads from the front that is his hallmark and I think even our captain will have to show courage if Pakistan is to win this match."
Former captain Muhammad Yousuf was more scathing in his criticism, saying that Misbah lacked heart and courage to inspire the team in these difficult times by coming up the order at number three. 

"Imran was a great captain because he tried to inspire his players in difficult times by setting examples. Dhoni is a similar character. I don't know whether Misbah can do the same because he has to show aggressive and positive approach in this World Cup to lift the team," Akhtar told a TV Channel.

Yousuf also criticised selection of Nasir Jamshed, pointing out that he had been struggling in recent matches. "He was also out of form in domestic cricket and I don?t understand why not try our already tested players."

Yousuf felt that Azhar Ali or Shoaib Malik would have been better choices to replace Hafeez in the squad. "Azhar is a good solid cricketer while Malik I think given his recent performances deserved a call up. But what the tour selection committee is thinking one really does not know."

He said if Pakistan was to do well in the World Cup the captain will have to rally the disturbed team.

"I don't know whether he can do this as he does not appear to have the same courage as Imran did," Yousuf said. Former captain and fast bowling great, Wasim Akram said the loss of the experienced Hafeez was a big setback for Pakistan team.

"His injury is most unfortunate and has come at the wrong time but the team now have to play extraordinarily well as the odds are against them with Saeed and Junaid also out."