ISLAMABAD-Test-discarded opening wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal termed Pakistan cricket team’s performance in New Zealand highly disappointing and well below par.  Talking to The Nation, Kamran said: “Black Caps had only two recognised batsmen in shape of skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, while their entire team was highly inexperienced, when we compare them with Pakistan team, as it is a set unit, playing together for last 5 or more years.”

He said Pakistan bowlers and batsmen completely flopped to adjust to the conditions. “In my personal opinion, it was golden opportunity for green caps to further extend their unblemished record against the Kiwis, as they had balanced batting and highly world class bowling available at their disposal, but batsmen let the team and country down, by playing highly irresponsible strokes, it was actually batsmen, who were presenting wickets to Kiwis bowlers, rather than New Zealand bowlers exceptional bowling.

He said he was quite amazed watching Pakistani batsmen just throwing away their wickets. “One thing was quite disturbing that the captain failed to understand, slip fielders must be specialists ones. Sami Aslam is never known as a slip fielder, I used him in slips during domestic cricket and I found him not suitable for this place. We have the best slip fielders in shape of Younus Khan and Azhar Ali, while Misbah should also stand in the slips, as none of the other players present in the starting lineup are even close to perform this responsibility.”

About fielding department, Kamran said: “Pakistani fielding was also pretty ordinary, dropping catches of key players also added to Pakistan teams’ woes. Opening is a specialist department and I feel the current lot of batsmen should be given more time to adjust to the conditions, they must understand the importance of prolonging their stay at the crease, as until and unless, they start rotating strike and spending more time and efforts, they are bound to flop.”

About bowling department, Kamran said: “New Zealand pitches are favourable to seam bowlers, but our bowlers completely flopped to bowl where they should have bowled. I don’t know why Yasir Shah remained so average and despite being a world class bowler, he must have taken wickets at any given track. Sohail Khan and Imran Khan bowled well, but Pakistan team conceded too many runs from not more than average batting, while Kiwis bowlers bowled according to the situation and got the desired results.

“Wahab Riaz is express pace bowler and he is bound to take wickets in Australia, while M Aamir has definitely lost the pace and swing, but he is highly experienced and with he passage of time, he will regain his full fitness and start delivering. Drop catches also added to his frustration, as I can understand, when a bowler is staging comeback after a long time and coming out of a saga, he needs support from all corners. When simple catches were dropped, nobody could expect over-the-moon performance form a bowler. The fielders must stand alert and hold onto catches on offer, as one or two chances to top players spell disaster for any given opponent,” he added.

He said: “Anyhow it is past now, and I strongly recommend the team management to utilise Wahab’s pace in Australia, as Australian tracks provide too much assistance to the bowlers. In my personal opinion, Yasir and Wahab will be the trump cards for Pakistan team. Australian team has improved a lot after their series against South Africa, and secondly they will be enjoying their home advantage. But let me clear that they have only two players skipper Steve Smith and Davis Warner, so Pakistan team has realistic chances of rewriting history and return home victorious.

“I am fully convinced the green caps can beat Australia and that too at their own backyard, but commitment and sense of responsibility is needed. Aussies will never give any second invitations, so Pakistan must be at their toes to achieve glory,” Kamran concluded.