Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan
Shoaib Akhtar [Image Credits: Google]

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has lambasted the Babar Azam-led management for opting to bowl first on a flat Leeds surface in Headingley during the second T20I against England.

On what was a pretty hot day in Northern England a pretty flat pitch, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam surprised one and all, including Shoaib Akhtar, after he won the toss and decided to insert England in.

As soon as the toss happened, Akhtar took to his official Twitter account to post a video where he expressed his astonishment at Pakistan’s decision to bowl first.

“Such a poor decision by captain & the management by bowling 1st on a great batting pitch it’s beyond me just speechless,” wrote Shoaib Akhtar.

“Pakistan have opted to bowl first. I can’t understand when this is a sunny day, and you guys scored 232/6 in the series opener, then why would you choose to bowl first? That too, when Jos Buttler is making a comeback and will open today.  I hope I am wrong, but this will be a 200-plus score. Pakistan have a great opportunity to win the series today on a flat surface. I hope I am wrong,” Akhtar said in the video.

The former pacer further claimed that had he been the PCB chairman, then he would have sacked the captain and the team management for taking such a ‘poor decision.

“But had I been the PCB chairman, I would’ve sacked the management and captain for taking such a poor decision of winning the toss and bowling first and losing the series because of it,” he said.

Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan, England
England beat Pakistan by 45 runs [Image-Getty]
Akhtar’s fear came true as the decision to bowl first heavily backfired on Pakistan.

A swashbuckling half-century from Jos Buttler (59 off 39) and valuable knocks from Moeen Ali (36 off 16) and Liam Livingstone (38 off 23) helped England post 200 in 19.5 overs.

In response, a plethora of Pakistani batters got starts but they failed to convert them into a substantial knock as England’s spin trio of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, and Matt Parkinson proved to be more than a handful for the visitors.

England eventually won the game by 45 runs to level the series 1-1 and the rubber will now be decided in a tie-breaking decider in Manchester on Tuesday.

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Watch the video here-

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.