Pakistan in Australia 2004-05 December 30, 2004

'Warne is a negative bowler,' says Saleem Malik

Cricinfo staff



Saleem Malik played over 100 Tests in a 21-year career © Getty Images
Saleem Malik, the former captain of Pakistan who is currently serving a lifetime ban after being found guilty of match-fixing, has spoken out about his country's weak performances against Australia. Pakistan are 2-0 down heading into the third Test, which starts this Sunday (January 2), at Sydney.

"Pakistan had the upper hand in both the matches as they started off well but due to lack of maturity they failed to press the Australians hard," he told AFP on Thursday. "I am deeply disappointed by the manner we lost both the Tests in Australia and it was mainly due to lack of maturity in boys who are otherwise very talented. The batsmen have been too emotional. Besides the team, the management and the Pakistan Cricket Board lack maturity as they have appointed a foreign coach, Bob Woolmer, which is not our culture."

Malik, 41, also took a swipe at Shane Warne. "Warne has never been good against India, and if our batsmen played him with patience he wouldn't get as many wickets as he gets against us," he explained. "He is a negative bowler and tries to frustrate the batsman by bowling round the legs."

Malik, who made his highest Test score of 237 against Warne at Rawalpindi in 1994-95, rated him below Muttiah Muralitharan. "I think Sri Lanka's Muralitharan is a better bowler because he comes good even when a pitch doesn't suit spin bowling. Because I had trained with Pakistan's great legspinner Abdul Qadir I had no problems against Warne. I used to play him with ease."