Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif summed up Pakistan’s ICC World Cup 2023 campaign saying that the team looked too friendly after they were handed a 93-run defeat by England in their last match of the tournament.
Pakistan finished fifth in the World Cup after suffering five defeats — the first time in their mega event history — and enjoyed four wins but failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament.
Kaif, who represented India in 138 matches, opined that the Babar Azam-led unit didn’t have the aura of the previous Pakistani side that had the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar.
“Somehow feel this Pakistan team was too soft, their pacers too nice. Wasim [Akram], Waqar [Younis], Shoaib [Akhtar] were intimidating. They would stare at you, even sledge. Babar [Azam], Shaheen [Afridi], [Haris] Rauf – they lacked that aura, they looked too friendly,” Kaif wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Remember, Pakistan’s World Cup campaign ended with eight points out of a possible 18 and they finished fifth in the points table.
Pakistan have now failed to qualify for the World Cup semi-final for the fifth time this century as their last appearance was in the 2011 World Cup semi-final against India, which they lost.
Earlier, Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik questioned the Azam-led unit’s professionalism saying that travelling shouldn’t be used as an excuse as every other team in the mega event has travelled.
“Travelling is an excuse. The whole world is travelling. Look at India’s calendar. Their pacers didn’t lose pace and swing. It is the professionalism, which is missing in our team,” Malik said while talking on a local sports show.
“You ask half of them and they would not know how to recover. In the recent past, we didn’t have any ingredients, which can help you to get rid of cramps. We saw that in the case of Maxwell, they gave him some gels and he played with severe cramps. It is all excuses. Travelling doesn’t matter.”
Malik went on to explain why the players get cramps and how the selection process affects it.
“You pick players after one match performance in the PSL. When you go to the crunch situation, your nerves will be tightened and then it will be followed by the cramps. It is not that only because of dehydration you get those cramps, it comes because of pressure as well,” he added.