Pakistan won their first Test match in some time on Monday when they thumped Sri Lanka by 263 runs to clinch the two-game series 1-0. This was their first win after Azhar Ali took over the captaincy from Sarfaraz Ahmed ahead of the tour of Australia in which Pakistan faced humiliating results. A superior batting display in the second innings saw the hosts winning the match in Karachi despite conceding a first-innings lead of 80 runs.
Following the win in a home Test series that took place after over a decade, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar advised the national team to learn lessons from the Indian team to evolve and also from the captaincy of Virat Kohli, India’s most successful Test captain at the moment.
“I have seen India team evolve. Pakistan had a forte of playing aggressive cricket, we did not use to be timid. We used to be aggressive and be up for the fight. Let’s compare our skipper to India’s skipper. Both Misbah and Azhar should come up with ways to make Pakistan’s team better. The roadmap should be to get better than Virat Kohli’s side,” Akhtar, 44, said on his official You Tube channel.
Shoaib Akhtar remembers Imran Khan’s captaincy
The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ also said how former Pakistan captain Imran Khan, who is currently the country’s prime minister, had worked hard to improve his own game as well as that of the team. The former cricketer lauded Kohli for making a big change in the Indian team in terms of fitness. “Imran Khan was not a tactical captain, but he knew how to gather match-winners. Now India is doing the same, see Kohli’s attitude,” the ex-speedster said.
“(Virat) Kohli is a fitness freak and his team completely looks up to him. If the captain is agile and sets such standards, the side will obviously follow. I believe this thing used to be there in our side when Imran Khan was the captain. He came to the ground, did not listen to anyone, used to run ten laps around, take 20-25 sprints. He then bowled in the nets for three hours. It was compulsory for the rest of the players to come and do the same,” Akhtar, who has 444 international wickets, said.
On Pakistan’s victory over Sri Lanka that earned them their maiden win in the ongoing ICC Test Championship, Akhtar said Ali’s side now needs to replicate the same.
“Pakistan needs to be fearless. In this team, you have to inculcate brotherhood, players need to look after their fitness. Pakistan is currently playing well against Sri Lanka. We need to replicate these performances,” Akhtar added.
Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have 80 points from four games now though Pakistan are ranked higher because of a better runs per wicket ratio. India and Australia are leading the table with 360 and 216 points, respectively.
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