Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar believes England did not take the men so seriously in the first T20I in Nottingham on Friday. Pakistan achieved their highest T20I score at 232 on Friday; despite England’s best efforts, however, they shot 31 runs short. Shoaib Akhtar said Pakistan is one of the best T20 teams in the world.
Pakistan beat England a whopping 233 to win by stitching an opening goal of 150 between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Pakistan captain and their mainstay, Babar Azam, reached the highest scoring ladder with 85, while goalkeeper Rizwan made 60. The people like Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez also made important cameos. In response, Liam Livingstone’s 62-ball 103 was the highlight for England, but it was not enough.
Shoaib Akhtar reckoned that England forgot that Pakistan is one of the best T20 teams today and named them as one of the favorites to win the T20 World Cup. The Rawalpindi Express reminded that England will not have it easy with the United Arab Emirates as host of the World Cup. Akhtar said England should take it seriously and know that Pakistan is not going to lie.
“England may have underestimated the Pakistani team. Maybe they did not understand that Pakistan is one of the best T20 teams in the world. It should come as no surprise if Pakistan wins the T20 World Cup this year. England need to realize that the World Cup is going to be in the UAE and that it is not going to be easy for them. “They have to take it very seriously before they go to the World Cup, and they have to understand that Pakistan is not a printing press, ‘ Akhtar told in his Youtube channel.
Babar Azam showed what he can do if he has time: Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar praised Babar Azam for beating brilliantly and showing what he could do if he got time for it. But the 45-year-old believes the Pakistani captain can take the order and take more responsibility or play as a finisher.
‘Babar Azam has shown what he can do when he has time and whether he accepts more responsibility. To become a bigger player and take on more responsibility, he can think of giving up on No. 3 or No. 4 and fulfilling the role of a finisher, ‘ he added.