ISLAMABAD

Former Test cricketers Mohsin Hassan Khan, Abdul Qadir and Rashid Latif Sunday blamed poor game plan and highly dubious team selection behind green caps defeat against India in Kolkata.

While talking exclusively to The Nation former head coach and chief selector Mohsin Hassan Khan said Pakistan ignored all three basic principles in the match. “Number one and the most important was selecting a playing XI considering the pitch and weaknesses and strength of the opponents. Number 2 a clear game plan, which would change according to the situation and thirdly motivating the players to enter the match without fear of losing. Unfortunately, the team management failed to address any of these three key questions and as a result Pakistan failed miserably.”

He said he was shocked that team management and especially the coach completely failed to read the pitch and made serious blunders by dropping key all rounder Immad Wasim and played with four fast bowlers, which was the turning point well before the start of the match. “I am surprised, how Waqar and Afridi made such a blunder of falling into the trap of Indians. The writing was very much on the wall and nobody could expect wonders after committing series of mistakes. Indians played entirely with a game plan and stick to the basics, which paid great dividend for them. The team management and skipper must accept responsibility of defeat.

While sharing his views former chief selector and legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir described defeat as humiliating and exposed tall claims of so-called super Mario coaching staff. “What was the purpose of sending an army of officials with the team, when they don’t even know the basics? In my opinion there was absolutely no planning and if there was any planning, it went completely other way around. The management failed to read the pitch. The rain water had entered the pitch from sides, while Indians also did a smart move by using cutter on the pitch, which showed pitch was dried, but in fact the rain water had entered the pitch from different sides.”

Qadir said Indians prepared spin, turning track, as they were fully aware of the simple fact that Pakistan would field 4 fast bowlers and would left Immad Wasim on the bench. “That’s why Dhoni shared the new ball with Ashwin, who was simply unplayable. Let me clear one thing, had Dhoni wanted Pakistan to bowled out less than 100 runs, he could have easily threw the ball towards Yuvraj Singh, which could have kill all Pakistan team hopes of posting a decent total on the board. I am stunned Pakistan team had only three top class players in their ranks as far as batting is concerned including Hafeez, Sarfraz and Umar Akmal. Hafeez and Sarfraz were completely ignored. What was the reason Afridi promoted himself, when ball was turning sharply. Hafeez is the most successful batsman and had delivered when it matters most. He had scored top class runs against Bangladesh only in the previous match. Had Hafeez batted at number 3 and Sarfraz at 4 followed by Umar, things could have been quite different. Sami as we had witnessed was struggling in Asia Cup, why he was given nod of approval ahead of Immad, who bowled superbly in the last match.”

Qadir said team management completely ignored one thing and committed same blunder which they had done time and again, as they forgot one simple fact and that was 10 Indian players at one side and Kholi is one man army. “Instead of going all out attacking and trying to take prized wicket of Kholi, they focused on other batsmen. They had done that against Williamson, Smith and Sangakkara in the past and all these players had won matches for their countries. The green caps are unpredictable, one never knows about them. If they beat New Zealand, even then they had quite bright chances of making it to the semi-finals. India could yet lose and same is the case with the Aussies. Pakistan still have chances, but they must forget Indian match and focus on task ahead,” Qadir concluded.

While sharing his views Rashid Latif said playing XI was the first mistake as including four fast bowlers was huge blunder. “Hafeez should have batted at number 3 when ball was turning. Sarfraz should have promoted in the batting order. The team management completely misread the pitch, which clearly indicates they lack cricketing sense. The openers failed to utilise power play and captaincy was highly ordinary. Malik should have a slip for Yuvraj. We need to bounce back very quickly if we want to stand realistic chance of beating New Zealand, who are on a high,” Rashid concluded.