Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar ripped into Babar Azam and his boys for their stunning loss in the opening Test match of the three-match series against England in Rawalpindi this week.

Shoaib Akhtar pointed out that the Pakistan team didn’t show any kind of resilience to even draw the game, leaving aside from winning it.

The legendary speedster who terrorized batters the world over with his brutal pace was of the view that while England batted with intent, the Pakistani batters failed to grab their opportunities, especially on the fifth day as they were bundled out for 268.

“Pakistan did not even take the chance which were availed to them. England gave them a chance to save the Test match but Pakistan did not take it. There’s a difference in mindset. The situation where England declared yesterday, would Pakistan have done the same? They wouldn’t have. Their coach McCullum said that they’ll play a run a ball in Test cricket,” said Akhtar. “They won’t go for draws. Joe Root said they want to save Test Cricket. . Where are you heading with this mindset? I was there and felt sad by the approach. You can’t play with lack of courage.”

“It’s very disappointing. England made the effort to make this Test match interesting. They gave Pakistan a chance to avoid a draw. You (Pakistan) play well and win. 350 in this wicket is not a big deal. You have already scored 150. I did not see any intent or capability. No disrespect to the youngsters. Naseem Shah, you played well. But England deserve to win. No questions about it,” Shoaib Akhtar explained.

Shoaib Akhtar then attacked Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raza for the highly batting-friendly wicket in Rawalpindi, where the England batters made a record 506 runs on the first day of the Test, including four tons from their batters.

“Chairman himself saying we should have made a better wicket and England batted well. Oo bhaiji, chairman aap hai (Brother, you are the chairman); you have the authority to make better pitches,” he concluded.

Batting first, England posted a mammoth total of 657 in the first innings, thanks to centuries from Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, and Harry Brook.

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In reply, the Pakistani batters too enjoyed their time in the middle and almost went on to match the England score, eventually getting bowled out on 579 with the help of hundreds from Babar Azam, Abdullah Shafique, and Imam-ul-Haq.

However, it was in the second innings, that the match turned on its head as England skipper Ben Stokes asked his batters to launch an all-out assault on the Pakistani bowlers.

The Englishmen responded to his call with aggressive and explosive batting as they cruised through to a total of 264/7 in 35.5 overs before declaring the innings. Ben Stokes’ brave declaration set a target of 343 runs in 100 overs in front of Pakistan to win the match.

However, the Pakistani batting imploded in the fourth innings of the contest with Saud Shakeel crossing the 50-run mark for the hosts. With James Anderson and Ollie Robinson grabbing four wickets each, Pakistan was bowled out for 268, handing a 74-run victory and a 1-0 series lead to England at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Even Shoaib Akhtar’s former Pakistan teammate, spinner Danish Kaneria was critical of the performance of Babar Azam and his men in Rawalpindi.

“Abhi hamari management ake baat karegi, Babar Azam baat karenge, PCB k head baat karenge ‘acchi cricket kheli England ne, hume unse seekhna chaie. Toh seekho na. Kab seekhoge? Time Guzar jayega. (Now our management will talk, Babar Azam and PCB chief will say ‘England played well, we should learn from them’. Then learn, when will you? It’s already too late),” Danish Kaneria said on his YouTube channel.

“They might blame Shaheen Afridi’s absence for the loss. If he’s not available, then dusre achar bechne aaye thhe? (Others came to sell pickles?) Where are the planning and strategy, where is the reverse swing?” he added.

“We only talk about the revival of international cricket in Pakistan. Pura din wahi manjan chal raha hota hai (the same discussion continues the entire day). Pakistan were clueless. Babar Azam should learn from Ben Stokes’ captaincy. Coaches around the world should also learn from Brendon McCullum. Their team doesn’t fear loss, but ours does,” Danish Kaneria opined.

“Our management fears losses. They only say that the team has been doing good. We are the No. 1 team. How can the Asia Cup happen without us? etc., but we don’t check where our cricket is heading. We made the wicket which was called dead rubber in Rawalpindi,” Danish Kaneria summed up.