Akram was irked by Malik's comments during the Asia Cup that he was only playing with the XI which the selectors had handed over to him.
The former left-arm bowler said selection in Pakistan is always a politicised affair but Malik needed to put his foot down if he had some other ideas.
''14 boys went to the Kitply Cup; they won the tournament, but two have been dropped. They didn't even play and are dropped. What they must be going through, I can only imagine. That's where Shoaib Malik has to be strong,'' Akram was quoted as saying by a Pak website.
''As a leader and as a player he has to be positive. In the beginning I thought he had the skills; now I have my doubts. 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,'' he said.
The former captain recalled his days to point out that man management is the key for any captain.
''I had Amir Sohail, Waqar Younis, Javed Miandad, Ramiz Raja, Saleem Malik, Ijaz Ahmed - they were all different characters, they were all difficult, but they were all match-winners. I learned to listen to them and back them up when they were not doing well. I knew as a captain that when they came back to form they would win me a match,'' he recalled.