Islamabad:Former Pakistan chief selector Abdul Qadir says the national team must nurture it's up-and-coming talent if it is to be a competitive force at the 2011 World Cup.
New Zealand beat Pakistan by 64 runs to level the three-match series at Abu Dhabi on Friday as the Pakistani batting lineup crumbled in the face of some brilliant Kiwi fielding.
"Nobody knows where we are heading in terms of preparations as we struggle to compete against teams like New Zealand," Qadir said on Saturday. "On paper we are far better than New Zealand, but yesterday's performance raises many doubts in the minds of the Pakistani public."
Pakistan surprisingly rested in-form batsman Umar Akmal for Friday's match to accommodate Shoaib Malik in the middle-order.
Akmal, the 19-year-old younger brother of Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran, has made an impressive start to his international career this year scoring 299 runs in nine ODIs with an average of 49.83.
"How can you drop a batsman when he has impressed all around the world with his brilliant temperament?" Qadir asked. "It will only shatter his confidence and we might lose such a talented player if he continuously gets such treatment in the team."
Qadir resigned as chief selector during the World Twenty20 Cup after developing a difference with Pakistan Cricket Board officials over the selection process.
Qadir, who took 236 wickets in 67 Test matches and 132 dismissals from 104 ODIs before retiring in 1993, said he had advised the PCB while he was chief selector to concentrate on "fresh legs" for one-day internationals and twenty20.
"I had told the PCB that senior players should only play test matches and we should find fresh legs from our own domestic ODI and Twenty20 tournament, but the cricket board did not listen to my advice."
The PCB had already appointed Younis Khan as captain until the 2011 World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Shahid Afridi was retained as skipper for 2010 Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies.
"If we continue to rely on senior players then what will happen to talented cricketers like Umar Akmal?" Qadir said.
Former test captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has also criticized the performance of Younis, urging the PCB to appoint Afridi one-day captain.
"Afridi has matured since he got the captaincy of Twenty20 team and I think he will do well as a captain in ODIs," Inzamam told the daily newspaper, Jang.
Younis has scored only two half centuries - 89 and 76 against Sri Lanka - in 18 one-dayers, amassing a total of 417 runs at an average of 23.16.
"He (Younis) is under pressure with his poor performance and it's better Afridi should be named captain for the ODIs," Inzamam said.
Younis stepped down from captaincy over allegations of match-fixing at the Champions Trophy before he was cleared by the Pakistan Lower House Standing Committee on Sports last month.
He agreed to lead Pakistan again after the PCB appointed him captain until the next World Cup, provided he stayed fit and selectors continue to pick him in the squad.