Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has blamed the country's inept batting, which is something that has let the team down over the years, for their loss against England. He also added that the Pakistan bowling was not aggressive enough to rattle the England batsmen.
Shoaib Akhtar analysed the reasons for Pakistan's defeat against England in the first Test at Old Trafford on his YouTube channel.
The Rawalpindi Express blamed the batsmen for playing reckless strokes and letting the team down, something he felt has been happening since the partition.
"Pakistan got an opportunity to put a big score but they made the same mistake that they have been doing since partition. That the batting lets us down. We needed partnerships, stroke-making only when you get loose balls. It was a great chance for Pakistan to put 350-400 runs on the board."
Shoaib Akhtar opined that there is no point in having great batsmen if you cannot capitalize on the massive lead that the team got in the first innings.
"But again, none of Pakistan's star batsmen could score runs. If you have to become a big player and earn a name, these are the situations. If you are not able to capitalize on a 107-run lead, however big a batsman you may be, you are of no use."
"Shan Masood was unlucky but he had already played his part. Asad Shafiq got run out, it is again his fault. But Babar Azam has to come out with something good, because you cannot create a name like this. You might be a good player, but you have to establish yourself as a match-winner."
Shoaib Akhtar squarely blamed the batting for their meek capitulation in the second innings.
"If lead had not been there, then we were dismissed for just 150-175. You have to think what you have to do as a batsman, this is really disappointing."
After being hard done by #ChrisWoakes & #JosButtler’s heroics, Pakistan Captain #AzharAli stated that the Day 3 batting collapse was a missed opportunity but not the sole reason for the team's 3 wicket loss in the first Test#ENGvsPAK #ManchesterTest #OldTrafford pic.twitter.com/U7fzrEQYu3— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) August 9, 2020
Shoaib Akhtar's views on Pakistan's bowling effort
Shoaib Akhtar questioned the Pakistan team's tactics of not bowling enough short-pitched deliveries at the batsman, especially when Chris Woakes had just arrived at the crease.
"Coming to the bowling, 275 is a big score. I don't have a problem with Naseem Shah but I need those spells. I want a captain who tells Naseem Shah that Chris Woakes has come new to the crease, to hit him hard. They kept on delivering length balls, how much length bowling will you do."
Shoaib Akhtar blamed the Pakistan bowlers' lack of aggression, with not enough bodyline balls being delivered to soften the batsmen.
"Chris Woakes had just come in. You should have bowled a bouncer to him and hit him on his head so that chances are created. It is a lack of aggression."
He moaned the absence of reverse swing, with the ball not being scruffed up enough due to lack of short-pitched bowling.
"Where is the reverse swing? Till the time you don't bowl bouncers and scruff up the ball, how will you get reverse swing. Pakistan lost a golden chance to win the Test match."
The tearaway quick pointed out that it was acceptable for Mohammad Abbas to stick to a length, but said that lanky speedsters Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah should have dished out the short-pitched stuff.
"It is okay for Abbas to do length bowling. Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah have to try out."
Shoaib Akhtar observed that the lack of drift in Yasir Shah's bowling had reduced his efficacy to take wickets.
"Our leg-spinners also bowled from way outside. They don't have drift, if they had that Yasir Shah would have been different. All big leg-spinners have drift but we start from middle and off. Chances are only created if you bowl from leg and middle."
Shoaib Akhtar was also not sure if Shadab Khan had done enough to retain his place for the next Test match.
"I don't know if Shadab is a good choice for the next match."
Shoaib Akhtar signed off by reiterating that the Pakistan batting has to take the majority of the blame for the defeat, an aspect of the game that has let the country down over the years.
"But I will put all the blame on the Pakistan batting. Pakistan displayed inferior quality batting. This was not a 175-run wicket. It is very sad to see that Pakistan again collapses. Since 1940s, it is not right. I have seen so many matches of Pakistan, even when I was playing, where our batting has let us down over so many years."
Pakistan lost the first Test against England by 3 wickets. After taking a 107-run first-innings lead, they were bowled out for 169 runs in their second essay to fritter away the advantage.
The Pakistan team had reduced England to a score of 117/5 in their pursuit of a 277-run target, but let Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes stitch together a 139-run partnership for the sixth wicket to snatch the victory from the visitors' grasp.