Pakistan not well prepared for World Cup, says Wasim Akram

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Karachi, Jan 31: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has expressed concerns over the national cricket team not getting enough matches and time to get acclimatised to the conditions in New Zealand and Australia ahead of the ICC World Cup, starting from February 14.

World Cup Special

"When you look at India and how they are still struggling despite being in Australia for the past two months and having played a lot of matches, it does raises concerns whether Pakistan have enough time to go well prepared into the World Cup," Akram said.

Pakistan not well prepared for World Cup, says Wasim Akram

"It takes time to adjust to the pitches and conditions in both countries and I have toured those nations many times in the past. I just think a few warm-up games and two ODIs against New Zealand is not the proper preparation for such a mega event.

"We should have played a full ODI series in New Zealand and had some more games in Australia before the World Cup," insisted Akram, who was a part of the 1992 World Cup winning squad and also captained Pakistan to the 1999 edition final in England.

The fast bowling great told "Geo News" channel that he was surprised with the way New Zealand today defeated Pakistan by seven wickets with 63 balls to spare in the first One-day International.

"New Zealand team has been in great form off-late and I was expecting them to win, but not expecting them to beat us so comfortably. It became a one-sided clash," said Akram.

He said both the batsmen and bowlers are yet to adjust to the conditions in New Zealand. "One could see today the batsmen are still to adjust to the seam conditions in New Zealand and our bowling is not hitting top gear," said Akram.

Misbah-ul-Haq will lead Pakistan at WC

Akram questions WC selections

Stating that Pakistan selection committee should have selected those players in the World Cup squad who could handle the conditions in Down Under better, Akram said:"I think instead of putting stress on young players, we should have laid stress on having the right players for the conditions in the World Cup squad."

Pakistani selectors have left out senior players like Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq and Muhammad Sami from the World Cup squad, while champion off-spinner, Saeed Ajmal is also not available due to his bowling suspension.

Meanwhile, former Test opener and chief selector Mohsin Khan has also described Pakistan's show today against New Zealand as disappointing.

"The team looks out of sync with the conditions in New Zealand. We are fortunate Misbah is scoring runs and Shahid Afridi today blasted a great innings. But it is the bowling and fielding which is looking ragged to me," he said. Pakistan will play another ODI against New Zealand on Tuesday in Napier before moving to Australia.

PTI

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