Sohail blames Afridi for World Cup semis loss

Updated: 31 March 2011 16:30 IST

Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail has blamed Shahid Afridi's "defensive captaincy" for the team's World Cup semifinal loss to India, saying the skipper succumbed to pressure in the high-voltage game.

Sohail blames Afridi for World Cup semis loss
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Karachi:

Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail has blamed Shahid Afridi's "defensive captaincy" for the team's World Cup semifinal loss to India, saying the skipper succumbed to pressure in the high-voltage game.

"The match began in earnest in the 11th over and their is no room for sentiment in this game. It was pivotal for Afridi and his team to attack and take wickets but that didn't happen," Sohail said after the 29-run defeat to India.

"Even while Sachin struggled the slips were removed and he snatched singles at will and chances went abegging which increased the pressure on the team," he noted.

He said even though Afridi was aware of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's struggle for form in the tournament, he didn't attack him.

"Once again we failed to go for the jugular. Saeed Ajmal was bamboozling Sachin and should have been kept on. However, Afridi thought otherwise," he said.

Pakistan's former Test batsman Basit Ali also slammed the defensive approach.

"In the past we never won against India because of a defensive approach we always attacked them and put them under pressure. In the semi final it was the other way around," Basit said.

Basit criticised Waqar Younis for not adopting a good game plan. "It really amazes me that our management was unaware of when to utilise the batting powerplay even though Abdul Razzaq was promoted in the order and at one stage Misbah was batting with Afridi."

Former Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir also felt that the Pakistan team management needed to learn from the defeat and take measures to deal with the problem of inconsistent batting.

No Pakistani batsman managed to get a hundred in the World Cup with the highest run-getter being Misbah-ul-Haq with his 248 runs from eight matches.

"Overall the team's performance can be termed as satisfactory as it reached the last four stage against the odds but we need to address the issue of inconsistent batting and the good thing is we have found couple of good young batsmen now," Qadir noted.

A disgruntled citizen in Lahore also filed a civil petition in the High court on Thursday alleging that the government of Pakistan and its functionaries had gifted the semifinal to India in a bid to improve relations with India.

The petitioner prayed to the court in his application that the telephone conversations of Shahid Afridi, Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani and interior minister, Rehman Malik be investigated and their recordings produced in court to verify his claims.

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