Former Pakistan fast bowler and recently appointed bowling coach of the Afghanistan cricket team, Umar Gul, has opened up about Pakistan’s selection problems throughout the series against Australia.
In an interview, Gul started the conversation by stating that Pakistan did not capitalize on the home advantage.
“We lost the Test series because we did not capitalize on the home advantage. Our spinners should have performed better but the pitches were extremely flat. If you play at home then you need to ensure that you maximize on that advantage but we did not do that,” he said.
Commenting on the ODI series, Gul said Pakistan addressed all the issues they faced in the opening match in the remainder of the two games.
“Our comeback in the ODI series was extremely good. We made several mistakes in the first ODI but team management and players eradicated those mistakes in the next two ODIs. We had a huge problem of run rate in the first game but the players worked on that and Babar, Imam, and Fakhar all played more aggressively, which is exactly what was required,” Gul stated.
The 37-year-old said that there were clear selection problems throughout the series.
“Throughout the series, Pakistan had a bit of problem with the selection. Some players were out of form and did not have rhythm but they were not rested, especially because we had strength on the bench. Some were only featured in one game but were left out from the rest – this indicates a lack of future planning,” he explained.
Pakistan’s premier bowler, Hasan Ali, has failed to live up to his reputation in recent times and Umar Gul said that he should have been rested instead.
“Hasan Ali has singlehandedly helped Pakistan win matches but he came back after an injury following the PSL. It happens to players sometimes that they are out of form. Once you don’t have the rhythm and you don’t get wickets, it frustrates you as a bowler. Pakistan should have rested him and kept Naseem Shah in the team because he bowled extremely well in the opening Test match,” he added.
Gul further added that Shahnawaz Dahani should have been given a chance in the series: “If they did not want to continue with Naseem then Pakistan also had Dahani on the bench and we could have used his services in the games.”
The selection problems, according to Gul, kept piling up as Saud Shakeel was dropped from the third match after not playing on his number in the previous match.
“Shaheen is Pakistan’s main bowler but in the future, the management needs to balance the load on him. Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim and Shahnawaz Dahani can share his workload and he can continue to perform for a longer period.”