Former skipper Mohammad Yousuf thinks Pakistan’s batsmen are putting their averages ahead of the team’s requirements, which means the team is failing to set or chase down high targets.
The 42-year-old, in an interview with PakPassion said the batsmen are more focused on their personal fifties and do not care about their strike rates, which are very low in accordance with modern standards.
“The biggest problem is that the Pakistani batsmen are batting for themselves and not for their country,” said Yousuf. “The passion and the patriotism aren’t there in the senior Pakistani batsmen. I will go as far as to say that these senior batsmen in the Pakistan ODI team are putting their own averages ahead of the team’s requirements. It seems like they are more interested in scoring a fifty than they are in ensuring that Pakistan wins.”
The former right-hander says Pakistani batsmen haven’t been able to play match-winning innings because of the lack of intent.
“In the modern game, playing a selfish innings of 40 or 50 runs at a strike-rate of 75 doesn’t help anyone,” he explained. “Our batsmen, in the modern game, achieve a strike rate of 80 and they are ecstatic; well sorry, but these days that does not work. Anyone can make a half-century at a poor strike rate, but what really counts are the innings that change the course of a match.
“We are not seeing enough of these match-winning innings from our batsmen. Our batsmen’s eyes light up when they see spinners, yet when they face a bowler who is bowling at 85mph or more then they can’t put bat to ball.”
‘UAE has made batsmen lazy’
Yousuf, who broke Sir Vivian Richards’ record of scoring the most runs in Tests in a calendar year, thinks Pakistani batsmen have become complacent because of playing in UAE where they score heavily.
“The biggest problem is that we have been playing our home series in UAE,” said Yousuf. “Those pitches are wonderful for batting and our batsmen have become accustomed to those batting-friendly conditions and have become lazy. They have built up their averages and accumulated easy runs, then, when they are tested outside Asia, they struggle and do not have a clue what to do. This situation is one for the Pakistan Cricket Board to look into and rectify.”
‘Babar world-class talent’
Pakistan’s right-handed batsman Babar Azam was the highest scorer in the T20Is on the current tour of West Indies and the third highest run-getter in ODIs after veteran all-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik and Yousuf thinks he should be retained at the one-down position.
“First of all, which genius decided to bat Mohammad Hafeez ahead of Babar Azam in the first ODI?” asked Yousuf. “Babar has been superb batting at number three yet he was demoted to number four. These are the sort of decisions that are hurting Pakistan cricket. These sort of selfish innings by some senior batsmen are the reason why we are struggling to make the big scores that other teams are scoring in the modern game. Babar is a classy batsman who should not be shuffled around in the batting order. He is Pakistan’s future and a world-class talent.”