VVS Laxman lamented the lack of fighting spirit from Pakistan after the reigning Champions Trophy winners fell to a nine-wicket defeat to India in Sunday's Asia Cup Super Four encounter in Dubai.
The batting great said he hasn't seen a "more submissive Pakistan side" since the time he started following the game of cricket and expressed disappointment at Sarfraz Ahmed's captaincy, saying the latter lacked proactiveness on the field.
Laxman's fierce criticism of the Men in Green comes after India registered their biggest-ever victory over Pakistan (in terms of wickets remaining) with yet another all-round show in the Asia Cup.
Sunday's thrashing was also Pakistan's second successive defeat to India in the ongoing six-team tournament. Notably, the second-ranked side had won the group-stage encounter against their arch-rivals with 126 balls to spare — the biggest margin against Pakistan in terms of overs remaining.
"I have not seen a more submissive Pakistan team since I started following the game of cricket. Today [Sunday], it was really disappointing because Pakistan fans would want to see their team fight until the last run is scored by their opposition. If that opposition is India, all the more," Laxman said during a post-match show on Star Sports.
"The captaincy was very poor. There was no proactiveness when it came to field placements and bowling changes. I felt the Pakistan bowlers were also below-par."
Sarfraz had won the toss and opted to bat on yet another hot day in Dubai. However, Pakistan's top-order batsmen went into a shell against some disciplined new ball bowling from India.
Captain Sarfraz (44) and Shoaib Malik (78) drove the team out of trouble after they were reeling at 58 for 3 at one point of the innings. Nonetheless, Pakistan managed only 237 on board in their quota of 50 overs as Jasprit Bumrah & Co. managed to pick up wickets at regular intervals.
India had no trouble whatsoever during the chase as openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Shikhar hit a century each while stitching a record-breaking 210-run stand. The skipper remained unbeaten on 111 as the Men in Blue got the past the finish line with 63 balls to spare.
Pakistan shouldn't have batted first: Kevin Pietersen
Meanwhile, former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who was part of the post-match show, said he couldn't fathom why Sarfraz opted to bat on a wicket that was suited for batting in the evening.
Pietersen also pointed out how Hong Kong managed to come up with a stiff fight against India with a spirited chase in their Group A match last week.
The minnows gave Rohit's men a huge scare as their openers Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath stitched a 174-run stand in chase of 286. Despite the valiant effort, Hong Kong fell short of the target by 26 runs.
"What Pakistan batsmen should have thought is 'if the Hong Kong batsman can bat so well at night and score that many runs against the Indian bowlers, then why aren't we not going to do it'," Pietersen said.
He added: "If you're worried about your batting, then don't bat first on a wicket which is better to bat at night. Best is to bat is at night, it's not in the baking heat when you can't play through the line or when the ball stops and turns a bit."