Misbah was a defensive captain at World Cup, Pakistan batsmen were irresponsible: Inzamam

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Adelaide, March 21: Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq on Saturday said that Misbah-ul-Haq was a defensive skipper in their entire ICC World Cup campaign and lacked aggression like the legendary Imran Khan.

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"For Misbah, it was a disappointing ending to his One-Day International (ODI) career. He remained a defensive captain and seldom showed aggression. He consumed too much time to take decisions like ignoring Sarfraz Ahmed for the first four successive pool matches," Inzaman wrote in a column for International Cricket Council's (ICC) website.

File photo of Misbah-ul-Haq

"Had he showed some more aggression, like Imran Khan did in the twilight of his career, it would have been more beneficial for Pakistan."

A spirited Australian side on Friday beat Pakistan by six wickets to book a place in the semifinals where they will face India at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Inzamam said the only consolation for Pakistan against Australia was a magnificent spell of fast bowling by Wahab Riaz.

"The only consolation for Pakistan was a magnificent spell of fast bowling by Wahab Riaz who bowled one of the most lethal spells of left-arm fast bowling I have seen for a long time in international cricket," Inzaman said.

"The way Wahab tested Shane Watson with a barrage of short-pitched deliveries, it reminded me the fiery days of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. Who knows what the result could have been had Rahat Ali caught Watson and Sohail Khan didn't drop Maxwell."

The 45-year-old pointed out that "if a team's batting line-up crumbles on a batting paradise, don't expect bowlers to bail you out in big matches".

'Painful to watch irresponsible attitude'

"It was painful to watch the irresponsible attitude of Pakistan batsmen. After playing so many years of international cricket, they still don't understand the meaning of 'rotating the strike', it simply hurts a lot. Our batsmen play so many dot balls that in sheer frustration they go for airy shots and good fielding units like Australia doesn't miss out on its catching chances," the former skipper said.

"Misbah, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Sohaib Maqsood all fell to rash strokes and the blame squarely lies on them rather than the brilliance of the bowlers."

The right-handed batsman also felt sorry for Shahid Afridi who also played his last ODI. Afridi took just two wickets and scored 116 runs in seven Cup games.

"I feel sorry for Shahid Afridi playing in his last World Cup. Afridi seemed to have lost bite in his bowling and those leg-spinners, which used to trouble batsmen around the world when he was at his best, were hard to spot out in this World Cup," Inzamam said.

IANS

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