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Lack of aggression cost Pakistan against Australia: Inzamam

Lahore: Pakistan batsmen weren’t aggressive enough while the bowlers looked jaded, contributing to a whitewash in the three-Test series against Australia, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has said.

“First of all we couldn’t play well under pressure and twice our batsmen failed to hold their nerve for even two sessions of the day which is quite unfortunate,” he said, as quoted by Pakistan daily Dawn on Sunday.

“Even when they were in strong position, our batsmen could not show aggression. In Brisbane they scored with an average of 3.1 and were even slower in Melbourne. The Australians on the other hand were aggressive, scoring at times at almost eight runs an over,” he said.

“When you go on the defensive, it allows the opposition bowlers to dominate you and that’s what happened with our team.”

Inzamam said only Azhar Ali, who has been in fine form for Pakistan, was consistent with skipper Misbah Ul Haq failing to contribute at all.

“Our key batsmen like Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq and others just played a couple of good knocks in the three Test series and only Azhar Ali was consistent with more good knocks. As for Misbah, he failed to play even a single good innings,” rued Inzamam.

“Now if that is the standard of our consistency, it is not good enough at the international level. Our bowlers might have been experiencing fatigue as no bowler could take five wickets in an innings which was sorry to see.”

“Our main bowlers have been playing regularly in the last three series and the fatigue could have affected their performance,” he added.

Reliance on spinner Yasir Shah has been excessive, another factor in Pakistan’s losses.

“We have also been overtly relying on leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who had emerged as our main bowler in the past few series. But he failed miserably in Australia and generally all our bowlers conceded too many runs,” the former right-hand batsman pointed out.

“I feel that the bowlers, if they were not getting wickets, should have at least tried to control the flow of runs but that did not happen.”

On skipper Misbah looking helpless at times on the field, Inzamam said: “Look, when your team is not performing and you are also struggling with the bat, the pressure is doubled and Misbah is also passing through the same situation.”

The 46-year-old lamented that head coach Mickey Arthur could not stay in Pakistan for a longer period to watch and groom the back-up players.

“Yes, we can introduce new faces in the Pakistan team in the coming series, but only after polishing them in the training camp at Lahore which should enable them to face international pressure with more authority and composure,” he said.

Pakistan will play their first of the five One-day matches against Australia in Brisbane on January 13.