Dubai: Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan’s former pace ace, wants their team to resurrect the spirit of 1990s during their tour of England.
Speaking in his Yotube channel, Akhtar said in the late 1990s, the likes of Aamir Sohail, Saeed Anwar, Ijaz Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Salim Malik, Wasim Akram, Abdul Razzaq - all played with a certain level of aggression. “I need that type of aggression and that brand of cricket which we were known for. I want Pakistan to play sensible innings as the whole world will be watching the series. I have a lot of expectations from Babar Azam and Haider Ali (in Twenty20),” he said.
“Pakistan need to play good cricket by making the right combinations after assessing the situation. We should not just play to draw the Test series but win it. In the past, we lost many series just because of the batting and mindset which we could have won,” he said.
The owner of 178 wickets in just 46 Tests, Akhtar had a word of advice for the team’s pace bowlers. “I want the fast bowlers to go out and see their length as the aggression lies in the length and not in the pace. Glen McGrath, Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall were the bowlers who knew when to hit the deck. So keep up the pace and test English batting and skill,” he said.
I want the fast bowlers to go out and see their length as the aggression lies in the length and not in the pace. Glen McGrath, Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall were the bowlers who knew when to hit the deck. So keep up the pace and test English batting and skill
The former speedster regretted the fact that there was no practice match before the series where spinners Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan’s form would have been checked. “Yasir is a very good spinner and he needs to compete and perform. Shadab is also brought for re-entry and rebuilding as he can be a part of the Test team. I am seeing that Pakistan will go in the series with three pacers, one all-rounder and a spinner depending on the wickets,” he said.
Akhtar felt that former captain Younis Khan, the team’s new batting coach, needs to transfer his attitude to the youngsters. “I want to see Pakistan batsmen playing like Younis. He should transfer his courage, knowledge and experience to the youngsters,” he said.
“I want Pakistan team to be aggressive and test the England batting. At the same time, Pakistan needs to come out as a great team, as a unit,’’he said.
The second group of six players of Pakistan squad will depart for Manchester on July 3 (Friday) by the national carrier. The players cleared to make the trip after testing negative for COVID-19 are: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz. “From Manchester, the six players will be transported to Worcester and they will integrate with the side after they test negative in the ECB testing programme”, a Pakistan board spokesperson said.