ISLAMABAD (AP) — Former test cricketers called for drastic changes to the Pakistan team Sunday after its shambolic performance in the Champions Trophy.
Pakistan lost all three group matches to be eliminated from the tournament as its batsmen crumbled against West Indies, South Africa and archrival India with the scores of 170, 167 and 165 respectively.
Fast bowling great Wasim Akram told Geo Television that Pakistan used to give India a tough fight during his playing days, and he was surprised to see Pakistan struggling on a batting-friendly wicket at Edgbaston on Saturday.
"We didn't used to play like what I saw on Saturday as our batsmen fell like pack of cards," Akram said. "Someone has to be brave enough and prepare young cricketers when seniors are not performing."
Last month Akram trained Pakistan's bowlers at a camp in Karachi and spent few days with the Champions Trophy squad when the team convened at the northern city of Abbottabad.
But after watching senior batsmen like Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal struggling badly in England, Akram said changes needed to be made.
"I don't know if there is lack of ability in our players or there's some psychological problem, but drastic steps should be taken," he said.
In sharp contrast, India's top order batsmen — led by Shikhar Dhawan's back to back centuries against South Africa and the West Indies — won all three of its matches and topped Group B.
Pakistan batting great Javed Miandad gave advice to batsmen at a camp in Abbottabad before Australia's Trend Woodhill took over as Pakistan batting consultant in England.
Former test fast bowler Sikander Bakhat said that change of coach led to confusion among the Pakistan batsmen.
"It looked as if our batsmen got confused after getting so many advices," Bakht said.
Bakht said Pakistan has to bring some fresh thinking to the team and get out of the defensive mindset of captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
"Bring in some new captain, why not Asad Shafiq?" Bakht said. Shafiq was the top scorer against India with 41.
Former coach Mohsin Khan said it was not only disappointing but "depressing to see" Pakistan batsmen struggling in the Champions Trophy.
"Our batting graph kept on going down with every match and that was very depressing," said Khan.
Pakistan's next international assignment is five-match one-day series and two Twenty20s in the West Indies next month.