Former Pakistan cricket team captain Wasim Akram has expressed his disappointment over Pakistan's loss to England in the first match of the ICC World Test Championship series. The 54-year-old from Lahore opined that this defeat would hurt the team's mindset and cricket fans back home.
Talking to Sky Sports after Pakistan's 3-wicket defeat, Wasim Akram questioned how skipper Azhar Ali used his fast bowlers. He believes that the quick bowlers should have bowled shorter deliveries to Chris Woakes instead of allowing him to settle down.
I think Azhar Ali missed a trick quite a few times in this game: Wasim Akram
Pakistan had taken a massive 107-run lead in the first innings. However, a below-par batting performance in the second innings turned the momentum in England's favour. The Pakistani bowlers managed to take some early wickets and brought Azhar Ali's side back in the match, but a 139-run sixth-wicket stand between Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler helped England win the game.
The hosts took 1-0 lead in the series and reacting to the match's result, Wasim Akram said:
"It will hurt the Pakistan team and the cricket lovers in Pakistan. Winning and losing is part of cricket, but I think our captain missed a trick quite a few times in this game, as far as his leadership is concerned."
Wasim Akram highlighted how an attacking mindset had helped Pakistan achieve a lot of success in the past.
"When Woakes came in, there were no bouncers, no short deliveries, they let him settle down, and runs were coming easy. Pakistan cricket is all about flair, unpredictability and attacking cricket. We're not county bowlers who are just going to come and bowl line and length all day long," he continued.
He signed off by saying that Azhar Ali should give Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi at least 18-20 overs each in every innings, irrespective of the situation.