Pakistan's chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has attributed the recent string of poor performances by the national team down under to fatigue.
According to the former Test captain the Pakistani players have been playing non-stop cricket for the last six months and could be facing fatigue.
"And the fact is that our players' fitness levels are still not at a par with that of some other teams, so that is also affecting their performances," he said in Lahore.
Inzamam pointed out that after Pakistan went to England in June it has been non stop on the road. "After returning from England after just three or four days we went to the UAE for the West Indies series and from there directly for the tours of New Zealand and Australia. To meet such a gruelling schedule our players need to work more on their fitness," he said.
Pakistan has won just a single ODI in Australia. I was whitewashed in the three-Test series and was also beaten in both Tests in New Zealand after its bad run started with a defeat to West Indies in the final Test in Sharjah.
Inzamam said that there were plans to improve things in Pakistan cricket but this would require time. "We need to be patient and we need time before everything is perfect," the former captain added.
He said the Pakistan Cricket Board was contemplating a series of matches for the Pakistan 'A' team players in the country shortly so that the bench strength could be tested properly by the selectors.
Inzamam said if Azhar Ali was fit and playing in the fourth ODI in Sydney he would be leading the side and there was no confusion about that. "If he is fit he is the ODI captain. Muhammad Hafeez captained in the two ODIs because Azhar was not fit."
Inzamam said the ODI series with two matches remaining in Australia was still open. "I just think our batsmen need to put behind the fear of defeat behind them and play freely and aggressively. They are not expressing themselves properly and that is hurting their performances."
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