After India defeat, former players slam Shahid Afridi, fans smash TV sets in Pakistan
Pakistan suffered a 6-wicket defeat to India at Eden Gardens.
Karachi: Former players slammed Shahid Afridi's "tactically weak" captaincy, while irate fans smashed TV sets in disgust as Pakistan reacted angrily to the national team's defeat at the hands of arch-rivals India in the ICC World Twenty20.
Pakistan lost by six wickets to India in Kolkata on Saturday. The result ensured that India remained unbeaten against Pakistan in the ICC world events.
Soon after the Indians notched up the win, disappointed cricket fans came out on roads to vent their anger and television channels showed them smashing TV sets in anger in some areas.
At some places fans also raised slogans against the Cricket Board and the team for letting them down again.
Former players and experts also lashed out at Shahid Afridi for his decision to drop spinner Emad Wasim and coming in to bat at one down.
Former Test batsman Basit Ali, who now heads the national junior selection committee, came up with the bizarre theory that former captain and great Imran Khan deliberately gave wrong advice to the team.
West Indian great Brian Lara was critical of Pakistan's decision to not play a specialist spinner. The former Test captain also questioned the role of Afridi on PTV sports channel.
"I don't consider him a spinner or a proper batsman. I used to play him like a pace bowler. I am surprised that Pakistan dropped a spinner for the match against India," he said.
Lara said he was disappointed with the Pakistani performance.
"Neither Afridi nor Shoaib Malik are proper spinners and you needed a specialist spinner who can turn the ball in the match. Both bowled short of length and didn't get the right turn."
Pakistan's former captain Rashid Latif rued the absence of stability in the team.
"It made no sense to not take a specialist spinner to India. Worst to also drop a spinner for this match. There was also no reason for shuffling the batting order it hit the momentum of the team. Why Afridi preferred to come in place of Hafeez at one down is a mystery for me," Latif told PTI.
Pakistan's former spin great Saqlain Mushtaq also questioned the team's tactics for the big match.
"They couldn't read the pitch. But for such a high profile match they should have played a proper spinner. It was not a pitch to field four fast bowlers," he said.
"Pakistan management should have noted that New Zealand beat India by playing three spinners."
Saqlain said he was disappointed that Pakistan had lost another big opportunity to beat India in a World Cup match.
"I don't know when it is going to happen. But we contribute to our own downfall by making tactical blunders."
Former Test captain turned commentator, Ramiz Raja also felt that the selection was not right against India.
"This team management to me does not appear to have the ability to make the right decisions. It is strange they had decided to field an extra pace bowler one day before the match," Ramiz said on Geo News channel.
Former Test opener and ex-head coach Mohsin Khan said that Afridi needed to now lead by example in the remaining matches.
"We got it all wrong tactically against India. We ended up at least 25 runs short and then we had no plan to dismiss Virat Kohli early despite knowing he has been the main thorn in our side in recent times," he said.
Mohsin said it didn't make sense for Afridi to come one down when Hafeez had scored 60 in the last match.
"Afridi's captaincy also left a lot to be desired. He and the management got the playing eleven wrong on a pitch on which the ball was turning square."
Mohsin, however, praised Virat Kohli, who struck an unbeaten fifty, and Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for turning things around.
"They lost to New Zealand and were under pressure yet they bounced back beautifully in such a high voltage match. They showed better tactics and nerves."
Former Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir said the team should atone for its defeat to India by doing well against New Zealand and Australia and reaching the semi-finals of the tournament.
"We are playing cricket without any direction and we are not producing players who can cope with pressure."
Pakistan's former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim, however, felt the media built too much hype before playing India and this was unwarranted.
"I think we will win the day we take a match against India normally like we do against other teams," he reasoned.