KARACHI: Pakistan’s batting capitulation on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka has left many former players angry and red-faced. Batting legend and former captain, Hanif Muhammad had said at close on the fourth day that only a miracle could lead to a result in the Test which was eventually won by Sri Lanka in an exciting finish. “There was nothing so dangerous in the pitch as to warrant such a listless batting display. Our batsmen tried to bat defensively while they should have just played professionally according to the situation,” Hanif said. “Sri Lanka deserved the victory but I think the Pakistan batsmen really need to go back to the drawing board and do some soul searching. They are playing Test cricket not a club match,” he said.
Pakistan’s former captain and well known commentator Ramiz Raja was visibly shattered by the shock defeat. Looking upset and sad, Ramiz said on television that Pakistan had allowed the situation to get the better of them. “They batted with such a negative mindset. It was hard to understand what their purpose was. They should have been more positive. Sri Lanka pushed for a win and they got it with their brave declaration,” he said. Ramiz said it is rare for Pakistan to score 450 runs in the first innings and than lose a Test. “This could be a real confidence sapper. They need to realize that in cricket at the end of the day nothing beats a team win and individual performances come second.”
Pakistan’s former Test opener and coach Mohsin Khan said he had already predicted before the series the Pakistan batsmen and bowlers would struggle in Sri Lanka. “I don’t know what purpose it served to have a month long training camp with so much emphasis on fitness. Then they had another short camp before going to Sri Lanka. Fitness is essential but so is natural talent and a need to understand the game and read the situation. And on Sunday our players just failed to do that. It is a rather upsetting way to lose the Test,” he said.
Mohsin who had led Pakistan to a memorable clean sweep Test series win over England in 2012 as head coach said that there was a definite need to change the mindset of the players. “There is too much negativity and a keen to attack and that is undermining our true potential as a team.” He said despite all the statements made before the test at the end left arm spinner, Herath had once again been the scourge of our batmen while Saeed Ajmal appeared listless and was also unlucky at times.
Pakistan’s former captain and batting great Javed Miandad said he was not happy with the approach of the team in the Test. “There was never any desire to force a result and the captaincy and tactics should have been better,” he said. He said when Sri Lanka were chasing their victory target on Sunday Misbah should have tried to get wickets instead of trying to slow down things. “Our spinners were the best bet to get wickets and on a pitch where the slow bowlers dominated he should have used Saeed and Rehman in tandem,” he said. The second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka starts on August 14.
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