Latif says picking seniors backfired

April 03, 2014 - 1:14:34 am

KARACHI: Pakistan’s new cricket chief selector Rashid Latif yesterday said relying on senior players had backfired after a familiar batting collapse saw the team crash out from the World Twenty20.

The 2009 champions were crushed by the West Indies on Tuesday night, sliding to an 84-run loss after appearing to panic at the start of their chase.

Latif, who took over as chief selector on Tuesday, said Pakistan’s decision to select too many senior players at the expense of youth had led to their downfall.

“Just like Australia failed in their plans of selecting senior players, Pakistan also fumbled because of selecting senior players,” said the former captain and wicketkeeper.

He declined to name any players but speculation is likely to focus on keeper Kamran Akmal and all-rounder Shoaib Malik, both aged 32 and recalled to the tournament after long periods out of the side.

Akmal scored just 48 runs in four outings, performing only moderately behind the stumps, while Malik hit 52 runs in the tournament and was not given a chance to bowl.

Both were selected for their experience but could not prevent Pakistan from being shot out for a paltry 82 -- their second-lowest total ever -- in pursuit of 167 runs.

Latif also joined a chorus of ex-players decrying Pakistan’s batting in particular for once again letting them down on the big stage.

“West Indies were outstanding in their batting and Pakistan were shocking,” he said. “They won the match because of outstanding batting and we lost it because of our batsmen.”

After being pinned down for the first 15 overs, Dwayne Bravo (46 off 26 balls) and skipper Darren Sammy (42 off 20) lifted the West Indies by smashing a whopping 82 runs in the last five overs to take their team’s total to 166-5.

Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad was bowled for a duck on the first ball, and Pakistan thereafter never looked in the game.

Former batting great Javed Miandad termed the defeat insipid.

“Fans and former players can accept defeat but if you lose without putting up a good fight, like Pakistan did last night, it’s unacceptable,” said Miandad.

“This is a fact that Pakistan do not have quality players in batting but the team was not as bad as it looked against the West Indies,” said Miandad. “The way they were stumped off spinners was shameful.”

Ex-batsman Mohammad Yousuf, renowned for his elegant technique during his playing days, blamed an inability to rotate the strike under pressure for the batting failure.

“Not a single batsman in the team has proper technique to deal with the spinners and hitting fours and sixes is not the only way to bat,” he said.

Team coach Moin Khan, meanwhile, said Pakistan must address its flaws in batting before their series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates in October. AFP

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