Not surprised to see India struggle in South Africa, says Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar says Indian batsmen will find it tough to counter South Africa bowlers in testing conditions.

Updated: December 14, 2013 11:36 IST
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Karachi: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is not at all surprised to see Indian batsmen struggle in the team's ongoing tour of South Africa. (Click here for full coverage of India's tour of South Africa)

"It is not surprising that the Indians have struggled. It happens with every team in the first few matches because of the different conditions and pitches but the Indian batsmen will be really tested in Tests," Akhtar said when asked about India's 2-0 loss in the recently-concluded 3-ODI series. India will now play a two-match Test series against the Proteas starting December 18. (Also read: India's warm-up tie called off)

Talking about his passion to play against India, Akhtar rued that he was dropped for the crucial semi-final of the 2011 World Cup at Mohali which the hosts eventually won by 29 runs.

"When I learnt the team management, Intikhab Alam and Waqar Younis had declared me unfit for the semi-final even though the captain Shahid Afridi wanted me to play, I wanted to go into the ground," the outspoken pacer told Geo Super channel. (Related: South African wickets test a batsman's grit, says Gambhir)

"It was the most shattering experience for me and believe me at that time if I could and if God had allowed me I would have killed someone.

"Playing against India in a World Cup semi-final was the biggest match for me and I knew if I played I would have gone flat out in the first 10 overs as those overs would decide the match. It hurts they didn't play me although I asked them tell me how did you decide I am unfit," Akhtar added.

In fact, Akhtar is voiced his criticism of Waqar, saying he is not fit to be back in the reckoning to become Pakistan coach after Dav Whatmore leaves from the post.

"Waqar was neither a good captain nor a good coach," Akhtar said. Waqar, who was recently inducted in ICC's Hall of Fame, stepped down as head coach in September, 2011 after differences with the board and captain Afridi. Akhtar also said that he appreciated the fact that Afridi, as captain, had always tried to support the senior players.

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