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Kamran Akmal under fire for poor 'keeping

Last updated on: March 9, 2011 10:54 IST

Pak media puts Akmal in the firing line


Bikash Mohapatra in Pallekele

There's something that is common between the Indian and the Pakistan media as regards their coverage.

The fourth estate in both the countries goes overboard praising a player after his success and over-critical of a player after his blemishes.

On Tuesday, Kamran Akmal was in the firing line yet again.

Images: Birthday boy Taylor sinks Pak

Having come under the net over the spot-fixing controversy in recent times, the Pakistani stumper was again ripped apart by his country's media for putting down two straightforward chances.

And the beneficiary of the benevolence, Ross Taylor, went on to make a spectacular hundred to help New Zealand thrash Pakistan by 110 runs.

Akmal first failed to hold to an edge (induced off Shoaib Akhtar's bowling) -- when Taylor was yet to open his account. And two balls later, he went to drop a regulation chance when Taylor had made four.

Taylor, who turned 27 on Tuesday, used his fortune to good effect scoring a massive 131 not out.

No wonder Kamran was vilified by the media. His blemishes in the controversial Sydney Test are still afresh in the mind.

"You can put the blame on anyone now that we have lost the match," admitted Waqar Younis. "But I don't think it is right to blame anyone," he added in defence of Akmal.

The Pakistan coach further went on to defend his player.

"Agreed our wicket-keeper left a lot to be desired and the chances that were dropped were sitters -- he dropped a few catches that really cost us the game -- fair enough, it was a bad day for him. But in cricket that happens," explained Waqar.

Image: Kamran Akmal
Photographs: Getty Images

'Don't put the blame entirely on Akmal'

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The coach denied the possibility of another stumper taking charge from Kamran.

"We can think of making any changes only after the World Cup," reasoned Waqar.

"Right now we are in the middle of the tournament and I don't think it is possible to make any changes at this stage," he added.

However, the coach offered a solution as well.

"We have five days before our next game, so efforts will be made to iron out at least some of his flaws, for it is impossible to correct everything that is wrong with his wicket-keeping in such span. But we will make sure he won't the same mistakes again," Waqar said.

- World Cup coverage

The Pakistan coach also admitted his team had failed as a unit.

"Giving a chance to a player like Ross Taylor was obviously the turning point," said Waqar.

"He is one of their best batsmen and we gave him two chances in three balls.

"That definitely cost us the game," he added.

However, Waqar didn't buy the argument that Kamran was to be solely blamed for the blunder.

"We bowled poorly in the end also. Shoaib (Akhtar) and (Abdul) Razzaq gave away 50-60 runs in two overs," explained Waqar.

"So don't put the blame only on Akmal," he stated.

Image: Pakistan's wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal appeals for the wicket of New Zealand's Ross Taylor
Photographs: Reuters
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