Former Pakistan batsman Javed Miandad has said it would be too early to drop Test stars Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq. The pressure is piling on the duo after they failed to get going in the first two Tests against England.
Expectations were high from two of Pakistan’s most experienced players in the challenging series but they have failed miserably so far. Azhar has so far registered scores of 0, 18 and 20 in three innings. On the other hand, Shafiq has registered scores of 7, 29 and 5.
As far as the scoreline of the series is concerned, England are leading the three-match series after winning the series-opener in England. The second match ended in a draw after rain played spoilsport. And as Pakistan gear up for the crucial third Test, Javed Miandad has advised them against dropping their senior players. He also said that handing the Test captaincy to Azhar was a wrong move.
“Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq have received criticism for their recent performances, but it’s too soon to drop them. The Pakistan coaching staff needs to earn their salaries and work on restoring Azhar and Asad’s confidence and I’m sure better results will follow for both players,” Javed Miandad told inews.co.uk.
“Azhar Ali has been given the captaincy due to a lack of other candidates which isn’t the right way to go about this,” he added.
Problem with Pakistan cricket:
Javed Miandad further spoke about Pakistan cricket’s issue to hand the captaincy to the right candidate. He said that Pakistan cricket does not believe in grooming leaders.
“The problem is that in Pakistan, captaincy seems to be given to individuals based upon whim and leaders are never groomed as they are in England. The result is that a Pakistan captain learns on the job instead of using his knowledge and experience, which is totally incorrect and people who have poor leadership skills are elevated into this role,” he said.
“Our domestic system used to produce good captains but the way the new changes are going, this will become much more difficult to achieve,” he added.
He concluded by saying that Pakistan have the ability to bounce back in the series if they learn from past mistakes. Pakistan drew their last two Test series in England and need to win the third Test to avoid a defeat.
“Pakistan must not feel that they are out of this series. They made some mistakes in the first Test and lost from a winning position. But, as long as the Pakistani batsmen can learn from their mistakes and put up fighting totals, this Pakistan bowling attack has the edge over England’s batsmen, so don’t be surprised if this series finishes 1-1,” he concluded.