Cricket AM: Pakistan need more batting experience, says Mahmood
Azhar Mahmood believes a lack of batting experience cost Pakistan dear in the ICC Champions Trophy.
Last Updated: 15/06/13 3:29pm
The former international all-rounder, who played 143 ODIs for Pakistan, told Cricket AM the selectors should have included a senior figure like Younis Khan in the team to act as a role-model for up-and-coming players.
His comments came after Pakistan lost both of their opening matches in the tournament - to the West Indies and South Africa - with only two men scoring more than 16 runs in the respective matches, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and opener Nasir Jamshed.
"Pakistan, unfortunately, is not playing good cricket," said Mahmood. "Their batting is not as good as it should be. But there has been too much pressure on these guys and they are a young side.
"If you don't have Shahid Afridi in your side - or Younis and Mohammad Yousuf - it's hard. The youngsters in the side have never toured here. I thought they should have kept Younis and Yousuf in the side so that the youngsters could learn from them.
"At the moment there is no-one there for them to look up to. When I grew up we watched legends like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and we could learn from them. You can take that extra bit onto the field when you are in a tough situation. There is no role-model in the team right now."
Mahmood is back in action this summer himself after re-signing for former county Surrey, for whom he will play in the FL t20 competition.
The 38-year-old - who is registered as a non-overseas player - last played for the county in 2007 and is hopeful that he can inspire Chris Adams' side to some silverware.
"It definitely feels like I'm back home. I've always lived in Surrey so I am a local boy!" he said.
"It's a special club for me because it's where I started my journey. Maybe I'm thinking about retiring from the same club - not now, but in another two years!
"We've got a good T20 side on paper, so we have to perform on the field. We've got Ricky Ponting in the team and we've signed Glenn Maxwell. In the bowling there's myself and Jade Dernbach.
"Twenty20 is about momentum if you go and win a couple of games; hopefully we can bring back the memories of 2003 when we won."