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Inzamam failed to inspire, Shoaib lacks match fitness: Imran

Written by: Staff

Lahore, Aug 9 (UNI) Criticising Inzamam-ul Haq's decision to bat lower down the order with a chest injury, former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan said the captain should have braved the setback and led from the front in the Leeds Test which saw the side losing the match and the series to England.

The World Cup winning captain was aghast at ''Pakistan's lack of spine'' and in his column for ''The Nation'', Imran said Inzamam just could not inspire his side.

''Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq should have known that he would not be able to go up the order on the crucial last day and so should have made every effort to spend time in the field on day four to be eligible to bat in his regular position.

''When a captain leads from the front and plays through injuries, it inspires his charges to brave challenges and adversity. I once saw Ian Chappell bat for two hours with a broken hand against the likes of Andy Roberts and Joel Garner. His standing firm despite the extreme pain and discomfort that roused the Aussies to turn the tables against West Indies despite facing much superior odds in the next Test match,'' Imran recalled.

''Unfortunately Inzamam prefers to play down the order which at times has been successful yet it is technically wrong strategy because when the chips are down, the best batsman has to go up the order to avert a crisis. It is far more difficult to bat once there is a crisis,'' he explained.

Imran didn't expect much from the opening pair of Salman Butt and Taufiq Umar but pointed out it was MOhd Yousuf's run out which ruined Pakistan's prospects in the match which England won by 167 runs.

''With the openers' record rather poor in England so far, not much was expected from them. Bred on slow and low bounce Pakistan wickets, they were never equipped to have the technique for English wickets where the ball moves off the track.

''But it was the unfortunate run out of Mohammad Yousuf that effectively put paid to any meaningful Pakistani resistance,'' he lamented.

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