Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 1st Test, Galle July 8, 2009

Former players question team composition

Cricinfo staff

Former Pakistan players have blamed the side's unexpected loss to Sri Lanka in the Galle Test on poor team composition, with Moin Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz questioning the absence of Fawad Alam, a left-hand batsman who also bowls left-arm spin, from the XI.

"[Alam] scored 80 odd runs in the warm-up game, he's also an excellent fielder and a player who can also bowl left-arm spin, I fail to understand why he was left out," Moin, a former captain, told AP.

Pakistan were set 168 to win the Test and began day four needing 97 with eight wickets in hand. They proceeded to lose all eight for 46 runs in the first session.

Former fast bowler Sarfraz criticised captain Younis Khan's decision to bring himself on in the first session of the Test and said key bowlers Abdul Razzaq and Danish Kaneria had been left out. "I was watching the [batting] collapse on television and told myself 'maybe its just a dream, the real match will begin afterwards,'" Nawaz said. "It was unbelievable the way our batting collapsed, I was not expecting such a performance. Where was Abdul Razzaq, where was Fawad Alam, where was Danish Kaneria?"

Ijaz Ahmed, the former Pakistan batsman, said there was a psychological problem with the side's batsmen when it came to chasing small totals and suggested a batting coach. "Both coaches [Intikhab Alam and Aaqib Javed] are bowlers so it leaves only captain Younis Khan and... vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq to guide other batsmen," Ijaz told Geo TV. "I think we should have a batting coach who can teach the finer points of the game to our batsmen."