Akhtar praised Pakistan’s composure in the World Cup win.
He highlighted fast bowling and powerplay as team strengths.
Suggested more assertive field placement for improvement.
Former speedster Shoaib Akhtar praised the national cricket team for their composure during South Africa’s thrilling victory in the World Cup in Chennai the day before.
As one of the fastest bowlers in cricket history, Akhtar—also known as the “Rawalpindi Express”—praised the team’s effort. He said, “It’s better late than never. Pakistan has done a wonderful job. The fast bowlers and spinners put their hearts out, and showed that they really wanted to have those two points, but unfortunately, that did not happen. They did marvelously in the fast bowling department.”
But Akhtar also identified areas for the team to get better. He took issue with the team’s lackluster powerplay opening and the quantity of dot balls used. When Shaheen Shah Afridi was bowling, he recommended a more assertive field location.
Akhtar showed sympathy for the squad despite the defeat and recognized their seriousness throughout the game. He thought Pakistan might have easily scored over 300 runs if they had put in a little more work.
“Pakistan played a lot of dot balls. They take a lot of time in the powerplay. When Shaheen was bowling, slips should have been there and field placements should have been more attacking,” he stated, “But the team looked very serious and my heart goes out to them. But having said that, Pakistan could easily have got over 300 plus.”
Akhtar’s remarks demonstrate his in-depth knowledge of the sport and his enthusiasm for Pakistani cricket. He expresses confidence in the team’s ability to improve in subsequent games by offering constructive criticism and commending their efforts.