Pakistan skipper Shoaib Mallik believes Akhtar can no longer be part of Pakistan’s present or future plans and questions why performance alone should not be lone criteria.
Shoaib Akhtar was a surprise inclusion in the one day international series against Sri Lanka. But Mallik is not too impressed with Shoaib’s performance in the two games thus far. As Pakistan crashed to a 129 run defeat in yesterday’s match, Mallik has decided that Shoaib Akhtar cannot be Pakistan’s spearhead, not while his fitness is in doubt and youngsters knocking on the door.
Mallik expressed his frustration of watching an unfit Shoaib Akhtar take the field. On Akhtar not finishing his quota of ten overs in the two one day games thus far, Shoaib Mallik attributed the first one as an attempt to rest Akhtar by giving him only seven overs in the first one day international. But Shoaib could only bowl six in the second and the combined effort yielded just one wicket.
Shoaib is quoted as saying, “”And I think and like everyone saw there was a question mark over his (Akhtar’s) fitness to bowl his full overs and also show commitment on the field for 50 overs.”
He is more inclined now to take up the issue of the younger, more talented bowlers in Pakistan who can actually pass the fitness test. If the selectors are inclined to trust Shoaib Mallik’s judgement, it could be curtains for Shoiab Akhtar.