Afridi hit hard on green-shirts loss to India

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ISLAMABAD, June 5 (APP): Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi
has hit out the side’s heavy Champions Trophy defeat to India,
criticizing “abysmal fielding”, “clueless” batting and Sarfraz
Ahmed’s leadership.
Afridi, who played 398 one-day internationals and retired from
international duty last year, had a caustic take on the efforts of
his former team-mates at Edgbaston on Sunday.
They slumped to a 124-run defeat and were found wanting in
every discipline as one of sport’s most heated rivalries ended up in
a one-sided romp.
In a blog on www.icc-cricket.com, Afridi wrote, “As a
Pakistani supporter, the drab show was a painful watch indeed as
India once again proved that it has a stranglehold over its
neighbour that it is in no mood to relinquish.
“Sarfraz Ahmed won what was a crucial toss in tricky weather
conditions. When rain is around, the team batting second gets a huge
advantage. Unfortunately though a poor game plan and shoddy
execution, besides abysmal fielding, nullified the advantage.”
“This was a big game, and after the initial overs, the
Pakistani bowlers crumbled rather insipidly. Wahab Riaz was once the
spearhead of this bowling attack but his performance was a major let
down on such an important occasion.
“As has been the case in recent years, our batting looked
clueless as the run-rate mounted. I feel that our batsmen are short
on the skills side and freeze under pressure.”
Sarfraz’s decision to begin with spin under cloudy skies also drew
Afridi’s attention.
“Mohammad Amir bowled a splendid first over and I thought he
would strike with the new ball. Strangely though, Sarfraz handed the
other new ball to Imad Wasim despite the overcast conditions,” he
wrote.
“The tactic was perplexing for me since the match wasn’t being
played in the UAE! Even if Sarfraz wanted to surprise India, he
should have deployed his faster bowlers after an over or two from
Imad.
“Pakistan needs to do some soul searching before its next game
against the top-ranked ODI team – South Africa,” he wrote.