Pakistan pacers should hit on the side of Australian batsmen’s head or neck, says Shoaib Akhtar
Akhtar also urged Azhar Ali to set the aggressive fields for his bowlers.
Updated - Oct 28, 2019 10:01 pm
A tour to Australia for any sub-continent side brings back memories of blood, toil, sweat and in most cases, heart-wrenching defeats. The fact that Virat Kohli’s team became the first Asian side to beat Australia at their home turf earlier this year should tell you something about the herculean challenge that Aussies provide to teams from Asia. And, if that team is Pakistan, the challenge becomes even more arduous.
The Australian tour has always been one of the toughest assignments for them, irrespective of the calibre of their team, the presence/absence of superstars or the era. And, the numbers vindicate their sorry tale. In 35 Test matches since their first tour Down Under in the summer of 1964, the Men in Green have managed just four wins, losing 24 of the 35 and boast of an abysmal Win/Loss ratio of 0.166.
And, the last of those four wins came way back in 1995. Since then, Pakistan hasn’t managed to draw a single Test in 12 attempts, losing each and every one of them. Despite boasting of cricketers like Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Yusuf, Waqar Younis, Misbah Ul-Haq, Younis Khan in the past 22 years, have always returned home with empty hands.
Aggressive intent is the key, feels Shoaib Akhtar
So, with another tour of Australia coming up, former Pakistani cricketers, pundits as well as the fanatics have been writing obituaries of the current side even before they had landed in the country. But, despite all the cynism, there is also an air of excitement engulfing around the new look fast-bowling attack.
Pakistan has included uncapped teenage sensations like Naseem Shah and Musa Khan in their Test set-up and former pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar feels that the pacers should announce their arrival with aggressive intent by rattling the Aussie batsman with searing pace and short-pitch stuff.
Akhtar also said that the captain [Azhar Ali] should support his rookie fast bowlers with aggressive fields and should not, for one moment, be defensive in his mindset.
“This ‘announcement’ [of intent] is very important – they should hit two balls on the side of the batsman’s head or neck. [The] captain should make sure that there is no defensive captaincy for these bowlers.
This means to ask them to bowl on one side of the wicket only; I don’t want to see defensive captaincy but I want to see leadership with authority. When it comes to bowling, the captain must attack.” Akhtar was quoted as saying by PakPassion. Pakistan will play two Test matches in Australia, the first of which will start at Gabba in Brisbane on November 21.