Lack of training may hurt Pakistan team in NZ: Wasim Akram

Published December 13, 2020
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes that the 14-day quarantine period during which no training was allowed to Babar Azam and his men as well as New Zealand’s recent success record at home will make things really tough for the visiting side in the upcoming Test and T20 series. — AFP/File
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes that the 14-day quarantine period during which no training was allowed to Babar Azam and his men as well as New Zealand’s recent success record at home will make things really tough for the visiting side in the upcoming Test and T20 series. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes that the 14-day quarantine period during which no training was allowed to Babar Azam and his men as well as New Zealand’s recent success record at home will make things really tough for the visiting side in the upcoming Test and T20 series commencing on Dec 18.

In an exclusive interview in Dawn News program ‘Replay’ the legendary all-rounder bowler rated hosts New Zealand as favourites for the coming series.

“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,” said Wasim.

“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.”

Wasim, however, expressed delight that Pakistan has finally started training but said the team management must handle the players with extra care considering they just came out from 14 days quarantine and isolation period.

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 said after cancellation of England-South Africa ODI series, the ICC and all member boards must realise that for future cricket in this Covid-19 era, teams should have separate hotels and chartered flights as precautions. Without these steps its will be very tough to stage big events like ICC World Twenty20 where 16 teams will participate.”

“There is no doubt that Pakistan cricket team is very lucky to be playing continuous cricket and the PCB deserves appreciation and credit for this,” he said.

Wasim said Pakistan’s current pace attack is talented but they lack experience and all these young fast bowlers must play more first-class cricket to be in the groove.

“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.”

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2020

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