Despite reaching the final of the 1999 World Cup, former batsman Aamer Sohail reckons Pakistan played like a 'local team', and that things could have been a lot different had the management been a little more sorted with their decision. Pakistan won six matches in a row before suffering three straight defeats, including a shocking upset at the hands of Bangledesh.
However, two more wins lifted Pakistan into the final of the World Cup, but Sohail feels the team was ailing from many issues, including too many changes in the Playing XI.
"From my cricketing experience and my observation, I can say that we played the entire World Cup like a local team. We had one line-up in a match and a different line-up in the next match with changing batting orders," Sohail said on his YouTube channel. "From the first game onwards if you see the scorecards, you will observe frequent changes in the batting order and they didn't persist with the players."
As per Sohail, two of Pakistan's most experienced players – Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-Ul-Haq – were out of form, while Mohammad Yousuf, whom the former opener claimed was the best of the lot but was given limited opportunities. It's tough to argue with Sohail, considering their numbers at the tournament. Ijaz scored 176 runs from nine innings with one half-century, whereas Inzamam was slightly ahead with 254 runs with two fifties. Yousuf, on the other hand, played just four matches, scoring 161 runs at an average of 53.66.
"Mohammad Yousuf was scoring in the middle order in the 1999 World Cup, but he was in and out of the team. If you see the scorecard of the whole World Cup, it is clear that the middle order was not clicking," Sohail said.
"Ijaz Ahmed was struggling, even Inzamam had scored in 2 or 3 matches but when we went into the Super 8s, he didn't score much in those matches. I think he scored 41 against India and 80-odd against Australia. So Ijaz and Inzamam, on whom you were relying, were not enjoying a good run of form. Because your middle order was not performing well, you should have consistently played Mohammad Yousuf if he was doing well."