Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is not at all surprised to see Indian batsmen struggle in the team's ongoing 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 0-2 loss in the recently-concluded ODI series.
India will now play a two-match Test series against the Proteas starting December 18. On to matters pertaining Pakistan cricket, Akhtar said he does not support Waqar Younis getting the head coach's job after the departure of Australian Dav Whatmore. "Waqar was neither a good captain nor a good coach," the outspoken Akhtar said on Geo Super channel. Akhtar publicly voiced his grievance being dropped for the 2011 World Cup semifinal against India at Mohali.
"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," he said. "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. The former fast bowler disclosed that he had no issues with Shahid Afridi who captained the side in the World Cup. "We have supported each other a lot and I know Shahid wanted me to play in the semifinal but Intikhab and Waqar ganged up against me," he said. Asked why he and some other former players who had played with Waqar like Muhammad Yousuf and Afridi had complaints against him, Akhtar said, "I don't know." "...he (Waqar) has some bitterness against us and his behaviour with us was not acceptable," he said.
Waqar is being talked about as a prime candidate to take over as head coach of the Pakistan team when the contract of Whatmore expires in February. Waqar stepped down as head coach in September, 2011 after differences with the board and captain Shahid Afridi. Akhtar also said that he appreciated the fact that Afridi, as captain, had always tried to support the senior players.