Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain, has criticised Shoaib Malik for his captaincy and for not bowling his offspin regularly, and called for the inclusion of Mohammad Aamer, the 16-year-old left-arm seamer, into the national team.
"In the beginning I thought he [Malik] had the skills; now I have my doubts," Akram in a wide-ranging interview. "Against Zimbabwe he bowled ten overs in almost every match, against Bangladesh he bowled a little less. But in big matches he is not bowling. Do you think nobody notices? People do.
"Most of all, players notice how the leader is doing. Shoaib Malik has to learn that," he said. "[Abdur] Rauf gets three wickets in one match, but doesn't get to play in the next. This is the captain's fault, not the selectors."
He also picked out the issues related to the selection of the XI. "Now he says the XI is given by selectors, but I know that in Pakistan if you are a strong captain there is no way the selectors can do that to you," Akram said. "We have all been through this: me, Inzamam, Imran [Khan], [Javed] Miandad, we all did that but we always had our XIs. Maybe in the 14-15 you can have a compromise."
Akram picked out Aamer, the promising Pakistan Under-19 and Rawalpindi bowler, for special mention - "he is quite talented" - and said that he would have drafted him into the national set-up right away. He had earmarked Aamer as a future talent during a fast bowlers' camp in May 2007.
While changing focus to the fast bowling scene in world cricket, Akram rated Brett Lee as the best and had some words of advice for Ishant Sharma. "He [Ishant] has to learn quickly. He has been very average in the Asia Cup," he said. "His length has to change in one-day cricket. He is a wicket-taking bowler, and he has to get the new ball. You can't have your third seamer bowling with the new ball."