Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif criticized the Pakistan cricket team after a dismal ICC World Cup 2023 campaign, asserting that the team appeared “too friendly” following their 93-run defeat to England, which marked the end of their tournament.

Despite securing four wins, Pakistan faced a historic setback, finishing fifth in the World Cup—unprecedented in their mega event history—with five defeats, failing to qualify for the knockout stages.

Kaif, who represented India in 138 matches, drew a stark comparison between the current Babar Azam-led unit and the formidable Pakistani sides of the past featuring cricketing legends like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar.

“Somehow feel this Pakistan team was too soft, their pacers too nice. Wasim [Akram], Waqar [Younis], Shoaib [Akhtar] were intimidating. They would stare at you, even sledge. Babar [Azam], Shaheen [Afridi], [Haris] Rauf – they lacked that aura, they looked too friendly,” expressed Kaif on X, formerly Twitter.

Kaif specifically highlighted the perceived lack of intensity from the current Pakistani captain, Babar Azam, and pacers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf during the prestigious ICC tournament. This observation underscores the team’s struggle to replicate the formidable presence that characterized the iconic Pakistani squads of the past.

The disappointment for Pakistan was magnified by their failure to qualify for the World Cup semi-final for the fifth time this century. The last time Pakistan reached the semi-final was in the 2011 World Cup against India, which ended in defeat, leaving fans and cricket pundits reflecting on the team’s future direction and strategies.

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