Karachi: Pakistan may be on the verge of winning its first cricket Test against Australia in 15 years but the poor performance of three of the team’s leading players has raised quite a few eyebrows.
According to a report in The News Saturday, the performances of the Akmal brothers - Kamran and Umar - and Shoaib Malik in the Headingley Test are under the microscope. Top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials are not happy with the way they lost their wickets in the first innings of the crucial second Test against Australia Thursday.
"The senior players like Malik and Kamran should play more responsibly. Unless and until they do so, questions about their commitment to the game would naturally surface," said a PCB official.
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The trio lost their wickets to rash shots and against the requirement of the situation. In fact, the Akmal brothers looked in a hurry and could have been dismissed twice before getting out.
Umar (21) lofted the ball to square-leg only to see the umpire raising his arm for a no-ball. The TV replay clearly showed that the no-ball had nothing to do with Umar’s sudden aggression. His irresponsible batting continued even after getting a lucky break and minutes later Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine had him caught off another loose shot off Mitchell Johnson.
Kamran (15) also looked in no mood to stay on the wicket for a long time. Following an unsettled half an hour stay, he guided the ball into the hands of Marcus North in the slips.
Shoaib Malik got off to a confident start, but the way he got out at 26 after settling down raised many eyebrows.