KARACHI: Legendary Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir was surprised with the resting of Muhammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi in history-making third and final One-Day Internationals against South Africa in Centurion on Saturday.
"It was stunning decision for me as Pakistan team was at the verge of making a clean-sweep against top Protease side after having won the first two ODIs in a thrilling contest," he told APP in an interview on Sunday.
"Pakistan team got a golden opportunity to make a clean-sweep against the host team after speedster Steyn and Kallis were ruled out due to injury and Smith missed the match due to family tragedy," Qadir, who took 236 wickets in 67 Test matches, pointed out.
"With three top players not playing it has definitely weakened South African team which could have made job easier much easier for Pakistan," he reckoned.
"Keeping in view the uncertainty and trouble of South African batsmen against Afridi and Hafeez, resting them for such an important a history-making match was a big mistake," he added.
"The way South Africa struggled while chasing a modest total of 180 in third ODI, had Pakistan fielded Afridi and Hafeez they could have caused havoc with the ball in bouncy and spinning track and easily achieved a feat instead of making 2-1," he maintained.
"Every expert of the game was surprised with the unknown reason behind resting two key bowlers in such a match with Pakistan was verge of adding a golden chapter with a 3-0 clean-sweep against the Protease," wily leg-spinner Qadir, who also captured 132 wickets in 104 ODIs, said.
"It was senseless decision which in my denied Pakistan team chance of making history," he said.
"Pakistan team was denied to go into cricket history book of making 3-0 clean-sweep after losing the previous series 4-1 against the same team a week ago," he pointed out.
"I failed to understand what was tactics behind resting Afridi and Hafeez as Pakistan was last match of the tour," he questioned.
"Such a history-making occasion to team's way in decades and poor planning and worthless thinking deprived Pakistan team to perform a such a golden feat," he concluded.