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Afridi Hit Hard On Green-Shirts Loss To India

ISLAMABAD, June 5 (APP): Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has hit out the side’s heavy Champions Trophy defeat to India, criticizing “abysmal fielding”, “clueless” batting and Sarfraz Ahmed’s leadership. Afridi, who played 398 one-day internationals and retired from international duty last year, had a caustic take on the efforts of his former team-mates at Edgbaston on Sunday. They slumped to a 124-run defeat and were found wanting in every discipline as one of sport’s most heated rivalries ended up in a one-sided romp. In a blog on www.icc-cricket.com, Afridi wrote, “As a Pakistani supporter, the drab show was a painful watch indeed as India once again proved that it has a stranglehold over its neighbour that it is in no mood to relinquish. “Sarfraz Ahmed won what was a crucial toss in tricky weather conditions. When rain is around, the team batting second gets a huge advantage. Unfortunately though a poor game plan and shoddy execution, besides abysmal fielding, nullified the advantage.” “This was a big game, and after the initial overs, the Pakistani bowlers crumbled rather insipidly. Wahab Riaz was once the spearhead of this bowling attack but his performance was a major let down on such an important occasion. “As has been the case in recent years, our batting looked clueless as the run-rate mounted. I feel that our batsmen are short on the skills side and freeze under pressure.” Sarfraz’s decision to begin with spin under cloudy skies also drew Afridi’s attention. “Mohammad Amir bowled a splendid first over and I thought he would strike with the new ball. Strangely though, Sarfraz handed the other new ball to Imad Wasim despite the overcast conditions,” he wrote. “The tactic was perplexing for me since the match wasn’t being played in the UAE! Even if Sarfraz wanted to surprise India, he should have deployed his faster bowlers after an over or two from Imad. “Pakistan needs to do some soul searching before its next game against the top-ranked ODI team – South Africa,” he wrote.