Former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram feels that it will be tough for the Babar Azam-led unit in New Zealand, given the fact that the team hasn’t been able to train during the 14-day isolation and also due to Kane Williamson-led units’ brilliant record at home.
Pakistan, who are set to play three T20Is and two ICC Test Championship matches in New Zealand, have already been dealt with a body-blow with their batting spearhead and captain Babar Azam ruled out of the T20I rubber due to thumb fracture.
“Surely it was very tough for the Pakistan cricket team — both mentally and physically — to remain in rooms for 14 days and that too without much-needed training in different conditions like New Zealand,” Wasim Akram told ‘The Dawn’.
“In the current scenario, I think it will be really tough for Pakistan to beat Kane Willamson’s side on their own soil. They [New Zealand] also have a great record and recent form at home and we all saw how they dominated the West Indies.” he added.
Akram added that with the team not having trained during the quarantine, it is now to up to the Pakistani team-management, i.e, head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, batting, and bowling coaches Younis Khan and Waqar Younis to ensure that the morale of the team stays high.
“Pakistan team management now have to play a very big role now to lift the morale of the team and prepare them for T20 and Test series ahead. Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and experienced coaches like Waqar Younis, Younis Khan and captain Babar Azam must give confidence to the players and must handle them well so that they give their hundred percent.” Wasim Akram said.
In Naseem Shah, Musa Khan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan boasts of talented fast bowlers but their inexperience has proved to be their nemesis in recent tours of Australia and England.
Wasim Akram feels that the young fast bowlers must play more First-Class cricket in order to gain more experience.
“We witnessed in the England Test series that we our fast bowlers lack experience. Young Shaheen Shah, Naseem Shah, Musa Khan and others are talented but they are not fully adept at performing on international level. They can only get better with more match experience and long spells in domestic games.” Akram signed off.
The three-match T20I series between New Zealand and Pakistan will commence at Eden Park in Auckland on December 18.