Former Pakistan pacer Aaqib Javed has launched a stinging tirade against current skipper Babar Azam for playing a key role in fast bowler Haris Rauf’s latest injury. Haris Rauf was part of the Pakistani playing XI that featured in Pakistan’s first Test loss against England in Rawalpindi but has been ruled out from the remainder of the series due to a grade-II strain in his right quad.
Aaqib Javed believes that Haris Rauf’s injury occurred because the Pakistan Cricket Team management, particularly captain Babar Azam isn’t managing his workload well.
Being an important cog in Pakistan’s scheme of things in all three formats, Haris Rauf is seen to be investing too much time on the field, something which isn’t ideal for a quick bowler. After taking into account the amount of cricket, Haris Rauf appears to be playing right now, Aaqib Javed alleged that Babar Azam was hell-bent on destroying his career.
“To make a comeback, Pakistan will have to play bowlers. Once they get a hold of a bowler, be in T20Is, ODIs or Tests – uska bedha gark karke saans lete hain (they don’t rest unless it is ruined). Haris should not be playing Tests because he is not that trained. Play bowlers who can play Test matches, who play First-Class cricket and pick wickets regularly. There is Mir Hamza – play such bowlers who can bowl for long periods and know where and how to bowl. And increase the number of bowlers,” Aaqib Javed said in an interview.
“You can’t have part timers operate from one end, who can stop the scoring, right? If you get wickets, only then will you get respite. Otherwise, they (England) will score at a brisk pace. Their mindset is to score at a run-a-ball. Keep a strike rate of 100. If they get out in the process, for them it doesn’t make a difference. And that is the difference. They bat at a strike rate of 100 or 135. How can there be a match?,” the former Pakistan pacer elaborated.
Aaqib Javed isn’t the first cricketer to criticize Babar Azam and the Pakistan team in recent days. Earlier, Shoaib Akhtar and Danish Kaneria slammed their performance in the recently concluded opening Test against England in Rawalpindi.
Danish Kaneria alleged that the Pakistan team management will now try to deflect the blame for the loss onto someone else’s shoulders.
“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.
Meanwhile, 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 signed off.