Perth showed inadequacies of seniors: Akram
"The conditions at Perth and Sydney exposed the physical inadequacies of an ageing cricketer. Hot and humid conditions can be physically taxing and at WACA, at least three senior Indian batsmen were simply too tired to move their feet and tackle a moving ball after fielding for almost two days at a stretch," Akram wrote in his column for espnstar.com.
"For a cricketer who is nearing 40, these are signs that tell him to move away from the intensity of international cricket." For the record, Rahul Dravid is 39 while Sachin Tendulkar is aged 38 and VVS Laxman is 37. Akram reckons that criticism on the Indian team is completely justified and selectors need to take some brave decisions.
"The criticism on the Indian team is fully justified. Dhoni is talking about phasing out the senior players and that`s exactly how the entire world feels. The onus is now on the Indian selectors, who have to take some brave decisions. Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar have been legends but past laurels don`t win you matches. You need to accept reality and move on." Akram termed India`s performance as a matter of "sub-continental shame".
"Perth should be an eye-opener for Indian cricket. Seven straight overseas Test loses should send the BCCI a clear message: there is something seriously wrong in the way India is playing cricket and a team that was recently world No. 1 cannot afford to be just kings at home. India`s abject surrender is a sub-continental shame," the legendary pacer wrote.
Akram also took a dig at BCCI stating that its the on-field performance that people remember rather than "financial muscle". "Financial muscle or power politics in boardrooms are advantageous only when your team does well on the cricket field. Alas, India haven`t been able to do that in Australia," Akram wrote.
The `Sultan of Swing` was also critical about Dhoni`s leadership skills. "Personally, I think he is a good ODI captain and has definitely not been "cool" in Test matches. The extent of annihilation overseas has definitely taken the sheen of his "cool" demeanour. Actually, his inability to motivate the younger players has surprised all of us in the commentary box."
While Akram stated that Ranganath Vinay Kumar`s pace was a disappointment, he also wanted Duncan Fletcher and Eric Simmons` contracts to be reviewed. "It is a dream for any quickie to bowl at Perth. But when I saw Vinay Kumar clock just 120 kmph in his first over, it was just disappointing. He seemed to be warming up in a Test match scenario. Was he playing a Ranji match against Kerala? While I expect the BCCI to review Duncan Fletcher after at least 12 months in the hotseat, Eric Simmons needs to work hard on the ethics of the young bowlers," Akram added.