Pakistan’s captain Azhar Ali. (AP Photo)
LAHORE: Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq criticised Azhar Ali‘s captaincy in the first Test against England and said that the Pakistan side missed a few tricks in defending a score of 277.
His remark came as England chased down a total of 277 against Pakistan after being reduced to 117/5.
Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes put up a 139-run stand for the sixth wicket. Woakes remained unbeaten on 84 while Buttler was dismissed after playing a knock of 75.
“England snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. All the credit goes to Buttler and Woakes. Both of them started playing strokes and they did not play defensive cricket. Pakistan fought hard in the match, I believe England should have been bowled out under 200,” Inzamam said on his official YouTube channel.
“Captaincy could have been better, when Buttler and Woakes were batting, short balls could have been tried out, everyone knows that both these batsmen do not play short ball that well, I did not see any variation in Pakistan’s bowling,” he added.
However, the former Pakistan skipper said that the Pakistan side is better than England, and said that the visitors can still win the three-match series.
“I think the Pakistan team is better than England and we should have won the first Test. I still believe Pakistan can still win the series. When you are going through a tough phase, the team’s body language should not change. This was clearly the case in the first Test because Pakistan players seemed under pressure after the second innings batting collapse on the third day,” Inzamam said.
“The role of the team management is vital after such a defeat because the players’ morale will be down. They need to talk about the positives, like scoring 300 plus runs and the first innings lead, rather than focusing on the negatives,” he added.
In the first innings, Pakistan had managed to gain a 107-run lead, but the side was bowled out cheaply in the second innings for just 169 runs.
The second Test between England and Pakistan will be played at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton from August 13-17.