‘Azhar Ali missed a few tricks’ – Wasim Akram after Pakistan’s defeat in Manchester Test

‘Azhar Ali missed a few tricks’ – Wasim Akram after Pakistan’s defeat in Manchester Test

Akram said that Pakistan bowlers became very predictable in the second innings.

Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram reckons that Azhar Ali missed out on a few tricks during the opening Test against England. In the fourth innings, while defending 277, Pakistan got the Three Lions on the mat, picking up five early wickets. However, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes’ brilliance took the Brits to a three-wicket win and a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The duo put on 139 runs for the sixth wicket and bailed their team out of the precarious position. The 54-year-old Akram feels that Woakes was allowed to settle down when he came to the middle. Akram, Pakistan’s all-time leading wicket-taker, was of the opinion that the Pakistan bowlers didn’t pepper Woakes with bouncers to build pressure on him.

When Woakes came in, there were no bouncers, says Wasim Akram

“It will hurt. 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,” Akram was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“When Woakes came in, there were no bouncers, no short deliveries, they let him settle down and runs were coming easy. Once the partnership got going, nothing happened – the turn didn’t happen, swing didn’t happen – and Buttler and Woakes just took the game away,” he stated.

Akram said that Pakistan bowlers became very predictable in the second innings, leading to their downfall. “We’ve got a 17-year-old (Naseem), who bowls 90 mph, a 20-year-old (Shaheen Afridi), who is around 88 mph, and they should be bowling a lot more overs – 18-20 overs each innings, no matter the situation,” Akram added.

In the fourth innings, though Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah got a wicket each, it was Yasir Shah, who bowled his heart out. The leg-spin bowler picked up four wickets, conceding only 99 runs in his 30 overs.

It was Shah, who removed Buttler and Stuart Broad to re-ignite Pakistan’s hopes of a victory. However, his efforts went in vain. Shan Masood scored a magnificent 156 in the first innings and his efforts went in vain as well.