‘Pakistan made sure to give an average performance’: Shoaib Akhtar lashes out after team’s series loss to England

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who is known for his outspoken nature and being blunt and honest about what he feels has lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket team after their second successive deafet against the second-string England side in the ongoing three-match ODI series.

In both games, the batsmen of the visiting team have disappointed as they were bowled out for scores of 141 batting first in the first game and 195 in the second game while chasing a total. England under Ben Stokes have won both games comfortably and look set for a clean sweep come the final game of the series on Tuesday.

In the second game as well, Pakistan top-order failed to add anything worthy of note, which put [pressure on the middle-order chasing a target of 248 runs in 47 overs. Apart from the newbie, Saud Shakeel, who played a measured knock of 56 runs off 77 balls, no other batsman could offer much resistance and the visitors folded out for 195, losing the game by 52 runs.

Shoaib Akhtar came down heavily on the Pakistan side saying that a 3-0 whitewash for England is on the cards if the team keeps performing like that.

“Although it was just run-a-ball and what was there in that bowling for you to have so much difficulty. The ball nibbles around a little, that itself is a lot for you. A very, very average performance,” Akhtar said.

“It has not yet happened. It is going to be 3-0. Pakistan worked hard to make sure they give an average performance. The Pakistan batting has always let us down and the same trend continues now also.”

Akhtar criticised the performances of the batsmen and said that if the team plays like that how will anyone in Pakistan would want to play or take up the sport?

“No one enjoys criticizing anyone. But tell me, which kid will start playing cricket after watching this team? The PCB’s plan is that no one should watch or follow cricket and they don’t have to spend anything.

“What was there in the wicket, first tell me that. Pakistan is only a T20 team. They play like T20 and get out like that. They lost five wickets in twenty overs. In T20s also, they score 150-175 and exactly the same in ODIs,” he added.

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