Moin blames indisciplined batting for Pak defeat

ISLAMABAD: Former Pakistan test cricketers blamed poor planning and indisciplined batting for the country's three successive defeats against Australia in the current one-day international series.

"When only two of our batsmen cross the 100-run mark in four matches, it sums up Pakistan's poor performance," former test captain and wicketkeeper Moin Khan told the AP on Saturday.

Australia got an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series with an eight-wicket win Friday. Stand-in captain Michael Clarke (100) scored an unbeaten century and Shane Watson carved out 85 not out.

The last match of the series will be played on Sunday.

Pakistan's opening batsman Salman Butt and Shahid Afridi are the only Pakistan players who have scored more than 100 runs in the series, with others - including experienced trio Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq and captain Younis Khan - struggling on slow wickets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan failed to bat a full quota of 50 overs in any one of the past three matches since winning the opener by four wickets.

"When we can't bat the full 50 overs, it shows that our batsmen struggled against Australia," Khan said.

Khan urged Pakistan to call up players from the non-sanctioned Indian Cricket League. The Pakistan Cricket Board has said it would consider those players only if they first resigned from the ICL.

"Presently there's no competition (in Pakistan team) because of this (ICL) ban," Khan said.

"Every player thinks his place is secured." Khan cited Misbah-ul-Haq as a player in decline since his heroics in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa two years ago when he guided Pakistan into the final.

"He has not played any significant knock in the last two years, but since there's no competition for his place, he is there in the (Pakistan) team." Former test paceman Sarfraz Nawaz wants Pakistan to integrate young players ahead of the World Cup in two years time.

"Physically, the team which went to the United Arab Emirates was not fit at all," Nawaz said.

Pakistan dropped paceman Umar Gul for Friday's game - a decision which surprised Nawaz.

"You play your best team in crucial matches, but yesterday it was a shock when Gul was not in the playing eleven." Paceman Shoaib Akhtar finally got his first wickets in the series on Friday when his twin strike had left Australia reeling at 3-2 before Clarke and Watson combined in an unbroken 197-run stand.

However, Akhtar has taken just three wickets in five ODI this year and has not bowled his full quota of 10 overs in any of them.

Nawaz wants him dropped from the squad before next month's World Twenty20.

"Akhtar didn't look match fit and now it's time for PCB to say 'thank you' to half fit players," Nawaz said.

"Fielding and physical fitness are most important for any player to compete in Twenty20 and Akhtar doesn't fulfill any of those."