Cricket: Call to fix Pakistan's woeful batting after Champions Trophy whitewash

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan cricket pundits on Sunday called for an overhaul of the team's coaching after their dismal showing at the Champions Trophy ended with a humiliating defeat to India.

After a poor performance on tour in South Africa the batsmen again let the side down, failing to score a single total above 170 in three matches.

Arch-rivals India's confident display with the bat, easing to an eight-wicket win, was in stark contrast to the Pakistani top order's scratchy, nervous showing.

Former coach Moshin Khan said Pakistan needed better planning to overcome their now longstanding batting problems.

"Our batting has been hurting us badly and if we don't address it quickly our team will go down further at the international level," he told AFP.

"It is time we take strong measures to address this problem."

Only captain Misbah-ul Haq, with 173 runs in three matches, batted with any authority, while top-order stars Mohammad Hafeez (38 in three), Shoaib Malik (25) and Kamran Akmal (23) were below standard.

Pakistan were bowled out for 170 in their opening Group B match against the West Indies before slumping to 167 against South Africa and 165 against India in a rain-shortened match.

Khan said the team appeared to have no strategy to tackle the batting slump.

"It's no comment if you ask me about coach's contribution," said Khan, who was replaced as coach by former Australian batsman Dav Whatmore in March last year.

"Just think of it, there was no planning, no strategy and no permanent batting slots."

He said Misbah fought a lone battle at the crease while the bowlers were outstanding.

"Our batsmen failed to support Misbah, who did very well while our bowling was outstanding but we lost all matches because of poor batting," said Khan, a stylish opener in his days.

Former captain Rashid Latif was harsh on Whatmore.

"Whatmore should be sent back because he and other support staff have failed," he said. "New people should come and take over this team which have talent but need better planning."

He also said the Pakistan's administrative set-up should be streamlined.

"We always make players accountable but don't hold the cricket board responsible," said Latif. "We must streamline the board with some new and wise people and then build this team with better planning."

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