'I have no differences at all with Inzamam'

Published: Saturday, April 17, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Disgruntled Pakistani paceman Shoaib Akhtar has lamented the home series loss against India and his own poor form but denied any lack of effort and differences with captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

"I am disappointed we lost the home series against India and my own form, but saying that my attitude and effort were not up to the mark is wrong," Akhtar said on Saturday.

"I failed to produce but the defeat is not of one man, its a defeat of eleven against eleven, just like our last two series wins were wins of the team."

The fiery bowler -- known as the Rawalpindi Express for his pace -- came under severe criticism following Pakistan's innings and 131-run loss in the third Test and with it their first ever home series loss to India by 2-1.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq lashed out at Akhtar, saying his poor form led to the Test series defeat against India.

"We depended a lot on Akhtar because he is one of the fastest bowlers in the world, but he let us down badly," Inzamam had said after the match on Friday.

Inzamam said the poor form of Akhtar, who managed just seven wickets in the three-match series at an average of 42, was one of the major reasons for the defeat.

But the 28-year-old paceman said he tried his best.

"I am a human and humans fail. But I assure everyone that I tried my best in the series," he said.

"We have lost to a better team, we did well in Lahore and won. No one criticised us then and now everyone gets out the knives after the defeat," said Akhtar, also criticised for not taking the field after complaining of a side strain on Thursday.

He later hit a quickfire 28 without showing any discomfort which led to suspicions whether his injury was genuine.

"I fell down while bowling on Wednesday and that hurt my back, you need the whole body to be perfect when you bowl while it is different when you are batting. I am surprised how can someone think I was not badly injured."

Inzamam also came down hard on Akhtar's reported telephone call to former captain Rashid Latif complaining of improper field placing by the captain.

"I have heard that Shoaib told someone that he did not want to bowl because I was not giving him the field he wanted, if it's true I will insist action be taken against him," Inzamam had said after the match.

Akhtar denied he had anything against Inzamam.

"I can call anyone from Wasim Akram to Waqar Younis to Latif but it was just an advice-seeking call to gain my rhythm and I never complained about anything," he said.

Akhtar urged fans not to chasten the team after one defeat.

"We have lost and let the fans down but we are a good and young team and we need time to mature," he said.

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